Media release

Gold Fields' Salares Norte mine to boost Chilean gold production outlook - Benzinga

Wednesday, 3 April 2024

Gold Fields commenced production at its Salares Norte mine in Atacama, Chile. After over 13 years since the project's initiation, the company poured its first gold-silver doré at an exciting time in the industry as the gold price keeps making fresh all-time highs.

"To build a remote mine at 4,500 meters above sea level with winter temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius and amidst a global pandemic is an incredible feat," stated CEO Mike Fraser.

With an investment exceeding $1 billion, Salares Norte is pivotal to Gold Fields' ambitious target of producing 2.8 million ounces of gold by 2025.

Initial production volumes are anticipated to reach around 250,000 ounces this year, with a ramp-up to full-year production of 580,000 ounces expected in the following year.

The mine's contribution extends beyond production figures, with significant economic and social impacts expected for the Atacama region and Chile as a whole.

Salares Norte is projected to create approximately 900 permanent jobs and contribute nearly $800 million in direct and indirect taxes over its 11-year lifespan.

With over 26% of the mine's employees being women, it demonstrates a commitment to gender inclusion, far surpassing national averages.

In addition to its economic contributions, Salares Norte incorporates innovative technologies and environmental initiatives.

Implementing filtered tailings technology optimizes water use and enhances safety by replacing conventional tailings storage facilities.

Furthermore, plans for a state-of-the-art photovoltaic solar plant aim to reduce the mine's carbon footprint by over 10,000 tons of CO2 annually.

Despite the 111-mile distance to the nearest town of Diego de Almagro, the company has successfully integrated the local community into the project, establishing more than 30 cooperation agreements and multiple collaborations with educational institutions to train over 600 students and strengthen the labor market in this mining nation.

Although Chile stands among the leading producers of copper and lithium, its gold output has declined by almost 20% since its 2018 peak. Thus, projects like Salares Norte represent a potential to reverse this trend.

Back to previous page