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High-flying Gold Fields profit soars, half-year dividend up -

Thursday, 20 August 2020

JOHANNESBURG ( – Covid notwithstanding, gold mining company Gold Fields saw its profit soar in the six months to June 30 and the half-year dividend declared equated to last year’s full-year dividend.

The Johannesburg- and New York-listed company, headed by CEO Nick Holland, announced attributable profit for the six months of $156-million, compared with $71-million for corresponding period of last year. Normalised profit of $323-million for the six months to June 30, 2020 compared with profit of $126-million for the six months to June 30, 2019.

Half-year cash totalled $320-million and mine cash flow was $405-million on production of 1 087-million ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $997/oz.

In line with its dividend policy of paying out between 25% and 35% of normalised profit as dividends, it has declared an interim dividend of R1.60 a share which equals the 2019 total dividend of  R1.60 a share.

Half-year gold production increased by 10% at South Africa’s South Deep to 3 123 kg (100 400 oz) and all-in cost was 6% down at R654 537/kg ($1 234/oz), driven by higher gold sold and lower capital expenditure.

Despite the impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown, South Deep generated a net cash inflow of R79-million ($5-million) for the six months compared with an outflow of R238-million ($18-million) for the corresponding period last year.

Gold Fields, a globally diversified gold producer with nine operating mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa and the Salares Norte project in Chile, reports that Peru and South Africa were severely impacted by Covid and the lockdown restrictions.

As a whole, Gold Fields has had 1 443 Covid-19 positive cases among employees and contractors. Currently active cases are 658, of which 13 are receiving care in hospitals. The relatively large number of positive cases, the company said, reflected the high prevalence rate of the pandemic in neighbouring communities at operations in Peru, Ghana and South Africa, with testing more stringent than in public health facilities in these countries. There have been no cases to date at its Australian mines. One employee at Cerro Corona and one contractor at South Deep have died as a result of their Covid infections.

South Deep recorded one fatal accident on June 3 when shaft timberman Abel Magajane lost his life while doing repair work on the shaft orepass shoot. Magajane fell down the orepass and subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

“This is a year that will be remembered for generations to come, with Covid-19 changing the world as we know it. It has challenged our lives and our business in every way and will continue to do so in the coming months. However, we are proud of the resilience of our teams across our business who have prioritised the health and well-being of our people and the communities in which we operate. While some of our operations have been disrupted, we have managed to limit the impact on production for the group – a remarkable achievement indeed. A bittersweet respite for gold companies has been the rise in this safe haven metal to record levels. We are pleased to report that we have delivered this higher gold price in our half-year results,” Holland stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

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