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Gold Fields retains place on CDP water A-list - Mining Weekly

Thursday, 9 December 2021

JSE- and NYSE-listed Gold Fields has maintained its A-list ranking in water stewardship as adjudicated by nongovernmental organisation the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), thereby placing the miner among the 118 high-performing companies out of almost 3 400 that made this year's water security top level.

Gold Fields was ranked A-, a step below the highest possible A level it had achieved in 2020, for its demonstrable actions to protect water resources, as well as transparent reporting on its water performance.

In the preceding years, Gold Fields was predominantly ranked in the B category.

This year, the average score among the 169 mining and metals companies surveyed by the CDP was a B-, while only 12 were ranked in the leadership category.

Gold Fields CEO Chris Griffith said although water was "clearly" a significant input for the miner's operations, it also had a marked impact on the environment around Gold Fields operations and was a resource shared with communities adjacent to some of its mines. "As such, it is critical that we manage this resource responsibly and our CDP ranking indicates that we are on the right track."

Meanwhile, Gold Fields listed water stewardship as one of its six key environmental, social and governance priorities earlier in December and announced two water management performance targets for 2030, the first being to ensure that 80% of the water used by its operations is recycled or reused, from the current level of 73%.

The second objective is to reduce freshwater use by 45% from a 2018 base. In this regard, Gold Fields noted that, in 2020, a 35% reduction had been achieved.

"We will require a range of new initiatives and projects, including extensive use of new technologies, to continue reducing the freshwater intensity of our operations and increase the level of water recycled or reused,'' Griffith said.

"Responsible stewardship of our water resources will further strengthen our social licence to operate with the communities in the catchment areas."

Gold Fields was also this week ranked seventh out of 327 JSE-listed companies and 27 State-owned enterprises in the Endangered Wildlife Trust's yearly Biodiversity Disclosure Project. Gold Fields' score improved by 11% over the 2019 evaluation.

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