INVESTORS AND MEDIA Media releases
Johannesburg, 5 August 2020: Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) (JSE, NYSE: GFI) welcomes the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (the Standard), which was launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM).
As a member of the ICMM, Gold Fields helped formulate the Standard, fully endorses it and will now commence with its implementation through its ICMM membership commitments.
The Standard establishes the first global standard on tailings management that can be applied to existing and future tailings storage facilities (TSFs). Strengthening current practices in the mining industry by integrating social, environmental, local economic and technical considerations, the Standard covers the entire tailings facility lifecycle – from project conception, planning and design, through operation and ongoing construction, to closure and post-closure.
Gold Fields welcomes the Standard as a significant step forward for the safer management of TSFs. “We will now begin the process of aligning our already stringent TSF design and governance processes with the Standard within the agreed timeframe,” Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland says.
As at end-2019, the Gold Fields Group encompassed 34 TSFs, of which 12 were active. All Gold Fields' TSFs are subject to independent, external audits at three-year intervals.
Depending on the size of future operations and local regulations, as well as topographical, hydrological and hydrogeological conditions, Gold Fields will make increasing use of filtered, dry-stacked tailings. This system has been adopted for the company’s Salares Norte project in Chile, where construction is set to commence in Q4 2020.