This is Gold Fields Our history 1968-1983

Our history 1968-1983

1968

The Kloof mine starts production, whilst a serious flood almost sees the end of West Driefontein

1976

The student uprising on 16 June 1976 sees 25,000 school-children take to the streets to peacefully protest the mandatory teaching of Afrikaans in their schools. By the end of the day, many people are left dead, South Africa faces widespread international condemnation and foreign multinationals start to withdraw from the country

1979

West Driefontein becomes the largest gold producer ever. A price increase from US$36 per ounce in 1970 to US$613 per ounce in 1979 sees Gold Fields South Africa’s earnings rise by 1,100% over the same period

1980

Gold Fields South Africa diversifies into zinc and tin, whilst Harry Oppenheimer of Anglo American acquires 29.9% of Consolidated Gold Fields shares on the London Stock Exchange

1981

West and East Driefontein merge to become Driefontein Consolidated – the largest and lowest cost gold mining company in the world, in which Gold Fields South Africa has a 38% stake. The Gold Fields Foundation is established and the company is a founding member of the Small Business Development Corporation aimed at assisting black entrepreneurship and small businesses

1983

The Chamber of Mines recognises the right of the National Union of Miners to represent black mineworkers (who constituted the overwhelming majority of mineworkers), following disturbances that resulted in the death of 10 people