Creating enduring value beyond mining

Independent assurance statement to the Board of Directors of Gold Fields Limited

ERM Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd ('ERM') was engaged by Gold Fields Limited ('Gold Fields') to provide reasonable assurance in relation to selected sustainability information set out below and presented in Gold Fields' 2021 Integrated Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2021 (the 'Report').

Engagement summary
Assurance Scope   Whether Gold Fields' assertions relating to the following ICMM Subject Matters (SM) in the Report are fairly presented, in all material respects, with the reporting criteria:
  • SM1: The alignment of Gold Fields' sustainability policies, management standards and procedures to the ICMM Principles, any mandatory requirements set out in ICMM Position Statements, the corporate-level ICMM Performance Expectations (PEs) and corporate-level aspects of combined PEs.
  • SM2: Gold Fields' material sustainability risks and opportunities based on its own review of the business and the views and expectations of its stakeholders.
  • SM3: The existence systems and approaches that Gold Fields is using to manage selected material sustainability risks and opportunities.
  • SM4: Gold Fields' reported performance during the given reporting period for selected material sustainability risks and opportunities, as listed in Tables 1 and 2 overleaf.
  • SM5: Disclosures regarding Gold Fields' prioritisation process for selecting assets for third- party PE Validation.
Reporting Criteria:  
  • ICMM Assurance and Validation Procedure (2019), including the ICMM Principles, ICMM Position Statements and ICMM Performance Expectations
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards ('Core' in-accordance option) and the GRI's Mining and Metals Sector Supplement (2013)
  • Gold Fields' suite of Reporting Guidelines:
For environmental, health and safety and social indicators:
  • Gold Fields GRI Standards Sustainability Reporting Guideline, V28 (October 2021)
  • Gold Fields Group Protocol for Energy and Carbon Performance Data Management, V4 (October 2021)
  • Gold Fields Group Health and Safety Reporting Guideline, V12 (November 2021)
  • Gold Fields Group Guidance on Host Community Procurement Spend and Job Creation, V1.2 (January 2020)
For Mining Charter-related indicators:
  • Gold Fields Limited South Deep Gold Mine Non-Financial Data Assurance Reporting Guidelines, V6 (January 2021)
  • Gold Fields Limited South Deep Gold Mine Procurement Mining Charter 2018 Reporting Guideline, V2 (January 2021)
  • Gold Fields Limited South Deep Gold Mine Local Economic Development Progress Monitoring Procedure, V0 (April 2020)
  • Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter (BBSEEC) for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry (2018) and the related scorecard (2018)
  • Implementation Guidelines for the BBSEEC for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry (2018)
Assurance Standard   ERM CVS' assurance methodology, based on the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised) and ISAE 3410 (for GHG Statements)
Level of Assurance   Reasonable Assurance for all Subject Matters
Respective Responsibilities   Gold Fields is responsible for preparing the Report, including the collection and presentation of the disclosures covered by the scope of our engagement, the design, implementation and maintenance of related internal controls over the information and data, as well as the integrity of its website.
ERM's responsibility is to provide an opinion on the selected information based on the evidence we have obtained and exercising our professional judgement, on whether the information covered by the scope of our engagement has been prepared in accordance with the stated criteria. ERM disclaims any liability for any decision a person or entity may make based on this Assurance Statement.


We planned and performed our work to obtain all the information and explanations that we believe were necessary to reduce the risk of material misstatement to low, and therefore provide a basis for our assurance opinion. Using the ICMM Assurance and Validation Procedure (2019), a multi-disciplinary team of sustainability, Mining Charter and assurance specialists performed the assurance activities, including, among others:

  • Reviewing external media reporting relating to Gold Fields, peer company annual reports and industry standards to identify issues relevant to the assurance scope in the reporting period
  • Interviews with relevant corporate-level staff to understand Gold Fields' sustainability strategy, policies and management systems, including stakeholder engagement and materiality assessment
  • Interviews with a selection of staff and management, including senior executives, to gain an understanding of:
    • The status of implementation of the ICMM Mining Principles (including the Performance Expectations) and ICMM Position Statements in Gold Fields' strategy and policies
    • Gold Fields' identification and management of sustainable development risks and opportunities as determined through its review of the business and the views and expectations of its stakeholders
  • Reviewing supporting evidence related to external stakeholder engagement on material issues facing the business
  • Reviewing policies and procedures and assessing alignment with ICMM Mining Principles (including the Performance Expectations) and other mandatory requirements set out in the ICMM Position Statements in effect as at 31 December 2021
  • Testing the processes and systems, including internal controls, used to generate, consolidate and report the selected sustainability and Mining Charter information
  • Reviewing the suitability of the internal reporting guidelines, including conversion factors used
  • Physical visit to interview responsible staff and verify source data and other evidence at the following sites:
    • Agnew Mine, Australia;
    • Granny Smith Mine, Australia; and
    • South Deep Mine1, South Africa
  • Remote reviews to verify source data for the following sites:
    • Gruyere Mine, Australia;
    • St Ives Mine, Australia;
    • Cerro Corona Mine, Peru;
    • South Deep Mine, South Africa;
    • Tarkwa Mine, West Africa; and
    • Damang Mine, West Africa.
  • An analytical review of the year-end data submitted by the sites listed above, and testing of the accuracy and completeness of the consolidated 2021 Group data for the selected indicators
  • Reviewing the presentation of information relevant to the scope of our work in the Report to ensure consistency with our findings.

1 For selected Mining Charter indicators only


In our opinion, Gold Fields' assertions relating to the ICMM Subject Matters in the Report, included in the Assurance Scope are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Reporting Criteria.


The reliability of the assured data is subject to inherent uncertainties given the methods for determining, calculating or estimating the underlying information. It is important to understand our assurance opinions in this context. Our independent Assurance Statement provides no assurance on:

  • The maintenance and integrity of Gold Fields' website, including controls used to achieve this integrity, and in particular, whether any changes may have occurred to the information since it was first published; or
  • Any other information in the Report or on Gold Fields' website for the current reporting period; or on the baseline values used for presenting performance against targets; or prospective information including ambitions, plans, expectations or their achievability.


As a result of travel restrictions arising from the current global pandemic, we were unable to carry out certain assurance activities as originally planned and agreed with Gold Fields. In‑person visits to selected operations and the head office were replaced with remote reviews via teleconference and video calls for this year's assurance engagement. While we believe these changes do not affect our reasonable assurance opinions above, we draw attention to the possibility that if we had undertaken in-person visits we may have identified errors and omissions in the assured information that we did not discover through the alternative approach.


We have provided Gold Fields with a separate detailed management report. Without affecting the opinion presented above, we have the following observations:

  • Operations were found to have improved documentation retention processes for emissions avoided and energy saved from their initiatives, although there is an opportunity for Gold Fields to apply an improved and consistent approach to the definition and calculation approach for these indicators, in line with good practice for energy measurement and verification.
  • We saw improvements in strengthening the documentation retention processes for contractor workforce information, although consolidation and reporting process could be improved for selected Australian sites.
  • Attention should be given to improving the implementation of change management processes at selected Australian sites to maintain continuity in data management and reporting processes across environmental and social subject matters, especially when there are changes in personnel involved in these processes.

Jonathan van Gool
Engagement Partner, ERM Southern Africa

30 March 2022

ERM Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gareth Manning
Review Partner, ERM CVS, London

30 March 2022

ERM Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd and ERM Certification and Verification Services (CVS) are members of the ERM Group. All employees are subject to ERM's Global Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. ERM CVS is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and our operating system is designed to comply with ISO 17021:2011. We have policies and procedures in place covering quality, independence and competency. In line with established best practice for non-financial assurance, this engagement was undertaken by a team of assurance and sustainability professionals. The work that ERM and ERM CVS conducts for clients is solely related to independent assurance activities and auditor training. Our established management processes are designed and implemented to ensure the work we undertake with clients is free from organisational and personal conflicts of interest or bias. The ERM and ERM CVS staff that have undertaken this assurance engagement provide no consultancy related services to Gold Fields Limited in any respect.