This is Gold Fields Our history 1968-1983
The Kloof mine starts production, while a serious flood almost sees the end of West Driefontein.
The peaceful student uprising on 16 June 1976 sees 25,000 school children take to the streets to protest the mandatory teaching of Afrikaans in their schools. They are met with fierce police brutality and many are injured and killed. South Africa faces widespread international condemnation and foreign multinationals start to withdraw from the country.
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.
Gold Fields South Africa diversifies into zinc and tin, while Harry Oppenheimer of Anglo American acquires 29,9% of Consolidated Gold Fields shares on the London Stock Exchange.
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.
The Chamber of Mines recognises the right of the National Union of Miners to represent black mineworkers (who constitute the overwhelming majority of mineworkers), following disturbances that resulted in the death of 10 people.