INVESTORS AND MEDIA Media releases
Johannesburg, 12 March 2012: Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) (JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI) welcomes the decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to set a lower electricity tariff increase for the 12 month period to end-March 2013. This was after Eskom, the national electricity utility, applied to have its original 25.9% average increase for the 2012/13 financial year lowered to 16%.
The lower increase follows two successive 26% tariff hikes in the previous years and will provide a measure of relief to the mining industry. "This is a welcome decision for our industry at a time when gold mining is facing rising cost pressures. Deep-level mining is very energy intensive and previous electricity tariff increases have had a material impact on our cost base," says Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland.
Gold Fields engaged with Eskom directly and through its membership of business organisations such as the Energy Intensive User Group, the Chamber of Mines and Business Leadership SA. "We're heartened by the willingness of the Eskom management team, ably led by CEO Brian Dames, to engage and take cognisance of our concerns," Holland says.
"I am hopeful that future tariff increases will reflect further moderations that will enable industry to invest in growth projects, while at the same time maintaining Eskom's funding position to invest in new generating plants and in its technical capacity," Holland adds.
He stressed that despite the lower tariff hike Gold Fields would not let up in its efforts to reduce electricity consumption at its South Africa operations. "We have already managed to reduce our electricity consumption by around 17% against the 2007 baseline despite the fact that we ramped-up production at our South Deep project during the period," Holland comments. He adds that Gold Fields would be seeking further electricity savings this year.