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Construction of 40 MW South Deep solar plant under way - Gold Fields - Mining Weekly

Friday, 20 August 2021

JOHANNESBURG ( – The construction of the 40 MW solar power plant at South Deep gold mine in Gauteng is under way.

"We'll deliver South Deep's solar plant in the second quarter of next year," Gold Fields CEO Chris Griffith said during Gold Fields' presentation of dividend-enhanced, 33%-higher half-year financial results. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)

South Deep's renewable energy project is a major addition to the company's already significant environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment at the group's Agnew and Granny Smith gold mines in Australia, where another 12 MW renewables investment has been undertaken at the Gruyere gold mine.

At Agnew, Gold Fields has invested in 16 MW of wind energy, 4 MW of solar power and 18 MW of gas, and at Granny Smith it has invested in 8 MW of solar and 35 MW of gas, all fully implemented. At Agnew, 57% of the power needs for the site are provided by renewables.

Gold Fields' Tarkwa and Demang gold mines in Ghana have moved over time from diesel power generators to gensets that use gas, initially liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and now natural gas, which has a lower carbon emission level than LPG.

"We haven't stopped there and we're making further progress," said Griffith.

With recycling and reuse of water also becoming an increasingly important issue across the globe, Gold Fields, at a 74% water reuse level, is ahead of guidance given by the International Council on Mining and Metals.

"We have reduced our use of fresh water by 12% in the first half of this year, so all round building on a very solid ESG strategy for the company.

"Overall, we believe we're in a good space with a commitment to reduce the carbon emissions," Griffith said at the webinar presentation covered by Mining Weekly, where he also committed the company to ongoing investment in renewable energy.

Gold Fields released its ESG priorities in February accompanied by high-level priorities and goals, which the company stated would be incorporated in an ESG Charter with detailed 2030 targets to be released later this year.

"This remains a key priority for Gold Fields as our critical stakeholders, including investors, are demanding that the impact of ESG issues is disclosed transparently, that mitigation measures are in place and that management of these issues is fully aligned with the strategy of the business," the Johannesburg- and New York-listed mining company stated in a release.

During the second quarter of this year, Standard & Poor's, which manages the sustainability assessment of companies for the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Index, undertook a rerating of Gold Fields' sustainability performance.

As a result, Gold Fields is now ranked the third best mining company, among 75 surveyed. Previously it was fourth behind Teck, Newmont and Anglo American.

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