Gold Fields has eight key Group sustainable development related guidelines. These guidelines support the implementation of our eight Group sustainable development policies and our top five Group sustainability priorities (i.e. water, shared value, communities, energy and carbon and mine closure).

All Group guidelines are intended to ensure an appropriately consistent approach in all the regions across the Group by providing Gold Fields minimum requirements, strategic goals and overarching principles. It is accepted that regulatory requirements are country specific and should be adhered to in each of the jurisdictions in which Gold Fields operates. The guidelines are not intended to replace these regulatory requirements but rather to complement and supplement regulatory compliance.

All group guidelines are drafted using a variety of good practice principles including the ICMM and UNGC 8 principles. The guidelines are also aligned to our vision, values and Group policies as well as our commitment to being the most trusted and valued mining partner to our key stakeholders.

The guidelines describe the key reporting and governance requirements for each of the subject matters that are covered.

The guidelines are for internal use and as such have not been published on our website. However, a summary of some of our key guidelines is provided below:

Water management

Responsible stewardship and water security are achieved primarily through the following goals, which are described in more detail within this Guideline:

  • Integrating water management into mine planning and operational processes;
  • Measuring, reporting and disclosing our water management performance;
  • Pursuing zero harm through knowledge and best management practices; and
  • Creating shared value and leaving an enduring, positive legacy within the catchments where we operate.

Mine closure

Ultimately all our sites, at whatever stage of development, will require some form of reclamation and rehabilitation. The process of planning for this eventuality is to be undertaken in accordance with the principles and practices described in the Guideline, which covers both mine closure planning and cost estimations.

Mine closure planning and cost estimations should be undertaken through-out the mining life cycle and will include the following three stages:

  • Conceptual closure planning;
  • Detailed closure planning; and
  • Definitive closure planning.

All of our operations are required to have a mine closure plan and cost estimate in place.

The total gross closure cost estimates for all Gold Fields operating mines are disclosed annually in our Integrated Annual Review and Financial Statements.

All our operations undertake rehabilitation as part of their on-going operations. Mine closure costs are funded as follows in each of the regions in which we operate:

  • Australia: Unconditional bank-guaranteed performance bonds to secure the estimated costs;
  • Ghana: Reclamation bonds underwritten by banks to secure estimated costs of rehabilitation;
  • Peru: Guarantees with annual deposits for proper compliance with the Mine Closure Plan; and
  • South Africa: Contributions into environmental trust funds and guarantees.

We make full provision for environmental rehabilitation based on the net present value of the estimated cost of restoring any environmental disturbance that has occurred up to the balance sheet date.

Community Relations and Stakeholder Engagement

Gold Fields has developed a Community Relations and Stakeholder Engagement Guideline based on international good practice principles that include the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards, Equator Principles and AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Principles. These are outlined in detail in the Gold Fields Community Relations Handbook (see below). This Guideline is also aligned to the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Principles 3, 9 and 10, our vision, values and Group policies as well as our commitment to being a trusted and valued mining partner to our key stakeholders.

The implementation of the nine Community Relations Standards, which guide our interactions with communities as well as other key stakeholders, are key to achieving this commitment. The nine Standards are covered at a high level in this Guideline and are described in more detail in the Group Community Relations Handbook.

Effective community relations and stakeholder engagement are also underpinned by the following four elements of the Gold Fields Society and Community Charter (our commitments to our key stakeholders), which are integrated into the Community Relations Standards contained in the Guideline:

  • Build strong relationships with key stakeholders, based on trust and open, honest and frequent engagement
  • Leave an enduring, positive legacy for host communities and work with our stakeholders (investors, employees, host communities and governments) to promote sustainable development and to create ‘Shared Value’
  • Monitoring and measuring our performance against our commitments
  • Strive to reach a better understanding of the underlying concerns and aspirations of our host communities and to co-create and deliver the right commitments to secure and maintain our social licence to operate.


Community and Stakeholder Engagement Handbook (Summary) [PDF - 3mb]

Energy & Carbon Management

This Guideline is intended to ensure an appropriately consistent and fit-for-purpose approach in all the regions across the Group, primarily in the following key areas: developing an energy and carbon management strategy and plan, identifying opportunities for implementing energy efficiency measures and greenhouse gas achieving emissions reductions, creating shared value, reporting performance and setting targets.

Successful management of energy and carbon, which is described in detail in the Guideline, is achieved primarily through:

  • Integrating energy and carbon management into the business;
  • Measuring and reporting on performance; and
  • Definitive closure planning.


Gold Fields is committed to responsible stewardship of natural resources and the ecological environment for present and future generations.

This Guideline is intended to provide guidance on the integration of biodiversity conservation into all aspects of mine life, from pre-feasibility to closure. The operations will be subject to varying degrees of legislative rigor in relation to biodiversity conservation; however it is the aim of Gold Fields to adopt good practice in relation to biodiversity conservation across its operations. This Guideline has been developed in reference to the ICMM Good Practice Guidance for mining and biodiversity.

Gold Fields GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines

The purpose of sustainability reporting is to measure, disclose, and to be accountable to internal and external stakeholders for organisational performance towards the goal of sustainable development and should provide a balanced and reasonable representation of the sustainability performance of a reporting organisation, including both positive and negative contributions.

This guideline is based on the GRI Reporting Framework which is subject to testing and continuous improvement. The guideline contains principles for defining report content and ensuring quality of reported information as well as Standard Disclosures made up of Performance Indicators and other disclosure items. Definitions are included for all information and data being reported throughout the Gold Fields Group.

Group Safety Reporting Guideline

In 2015, we updated our Group Safety Reporting Guideline based on the recommendations of a health and safety benchmarking review undertaken by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). This has resulted in our adoption of the Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) indicator. The TRIFR includes (with respect to both employees and contractors):

  • Total number of fatalities
  • Lost-time injuries
  • Medically treated injuries
  • Restricted work injuries

It is considered a more useful measure of safety performance than the Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) alone, which includes only injuries that result in one or more lost shifts. Furthermore, the TRIFR is the most commonly used metric among our peers, assisting the benchmarking of our performance against the wider sector. As 2013 was the first year that we have adopted the new metric across the Group, the 2013 year will form the benchmark for future performance.

Risk management

Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) has developed an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Guideline based on the requirements of King IV – Good Corporate Governance Code of Conduct and ISO 31 000 – International Guideline on Risk Management.

ERM consists of strategic and operational risk management, each with its own purpose.

This document is intended to ensure an appropriately consistent approach in all the regions across the Group by providing minimum requirements and overarching good practice principles to guide enterprise risk management.

National risk management standards and regulatory requirements exist in countries where Gold Fields operates and should be adhered to. This guideline is not intended to replace these requirements but rather to complement and supplement compliance.

This guideline is applicable to the entire lifecycle of mining, which comprises eight phases: exploration, pre-feasibility, feasibility, construction, operation, decommissioning, closure and post closure.