Creating enduring value beyond mining

Our portfolio and growth strategy

Gold Fields has invested significantly in its portfolio over the past four years to enhance the quality and life of our asset base, and ultimately increase FCF per ounce of gold produced. The Group has built a high-quality global production base by focusing on low-cost, longer-life assets in a limited number of miningfriendly jurisdictions.

This reinvestment programme positioned Gold Fields to at least maintain the production profile over the next decade at costs that are competitive with our global peers. With the ramp-up of the Salares Norte mine in Chile, Group production is expected to grow to 2.7Moz – 2.8Moz in 2024 with a positive impact on overall cost levels.

Since 2017, the investment drive has undoubtedly improved the sustainability of our production base. During this time, we invested US$347m into the Damang Reinvestment project, spent A$350m to acquire 50% of the Gruyere project and A$329m to build the mine, paid US$185m for a 45% interest in the Asanko mine in Ghana, and invested US$13m in restructuring South Deep. Furthermore, in February 2020, our Board gave the go-ahead for construction of the US$860m Salares Norte mine in Chile.

Having addressed the production profile, we intend to maximise the potential of our assets by leveraging our people and innovation. Various initiatives are underway in each region to optimise our current asset base by improving efficiencies, maintaining or reducing costs, and incorporating technological advancements and innovation where possible.

Gold Fields is not focused on the absolute production level, but rather the quality and profitability of ounces of gold produced. However, we believe that growth resulting from the development and ramp-up of Salares Norte will differentiate the Group from our mid-tier gold-producing peers.

Beyond 2024, we will endeavour to preserve the value we have created by growing our output to 2.7Moz – 2.8Moz by pursuing organic and external opportunities. All opportunities, internal and external, will compete for the same pool of capital and will only be considered should it meet our key strategic objectives. We also continue to invest significant funds in near-mine brownfields exploration to extend the life of our current asset base and capitalise on incountry opportunities to leverage our existing footprint, infrastructure and skills set. This is particularly pertinent in our Australian region.

As we are not fixated on the level of production, we will only pursue value-accretive opportunities that enhance the quality of our portfolio. In the same vein, we will not retain unprofitable or marginal ounces in the portfolio. We will look to dispose of any assets that management believes can be better served by a company with more time and resources to commit to them.


In addition to the quality of the individual assets, the quality of the jurisdiction plays a vital role in Gold Fields' strategic decisionmaking process. While South Deep dominates our attributable Mineral Reserves base (29.1Moz at end- December 2021, 61% of total Mineral Reserves), our strategy has targeted expansion outside of South Africa since the unbundling of our legacy mines to Sibanye Gold in 2013. Of our nine mines and one project, only South Deep is located in South Africa. We have remained very selective in choosing countries for capital deployment. 18.2Moz of our attributable gold-equivalent Mineral Reserves (excluding Gold Fields' 45% interest in Asanko) were located outside South Africa at 31 December 2021, with 7.9Moz (17%) in Australia, 5.8Moz (12%) in Ghana, 1.1Moz (2%) in Peru and 3.5Moz (8%) in Chile.

The Group continued to enhance its global footprint during 2021 by advancing the Salares Norte project in Chile, with first production expected in Q1 2023. The plant is expected to take 12 months to ramp-up to full production. Based on this, we expect production to be approximately 200koz in 2023 and, in 2024 – the first full year with production – around 550koz. On average, for the first seven years of its life, Salares Norte is expected to add an average 450koz gold-equivalent production per year at AIC of US$465/oz (in 2019 terms) – one of the lowest in the industry. We will continue to invest a significant amount of capital in 2022, with US$330m in growth capex budgeted for continued development of the project during the year. The project is expected to be at 90% completion by year-end.

Encouragingly, the performance of our South Deep mine in South Africa continued to improve in 2021 despite Covid-19 impacting production during Q1 2021. Overall production was up by 29% to 293koz (2020: 227koz). Costs were also marginally lower in Rand terms and, as a result, South Deep generated R1.4bn (US$97m) in FCF in 2021 compared with R558m (US$34m) in 2020.


Gold Fields remains committed to its strategy of generating cash to pay dividends to shareholders, reduce debt and fund growth. Our capital allocation priorities will remain largely unchanged in 2022, namely:

  • Funding Salares Norte capex
  • Increasing capex to sustain production at some of our key assets
  • Maintaining our policy to pay dividends of 25% – 35% of normalised earnings
  • Degearing the balance sheet

In addition to the above avenues of value distribution, we believe there are three levers to unlock value in our current portfolio of assets that are not yet fully reflected in analyst and investor valuations, namely:

  • South Deep: Continue to embed productivity improvements and ramp-up production
  • Salares Norte: Deliver the project on time and on budget
  • Australian assets: Improve our stakeholders' understanding of the potential at our Australian operations


Over the years, Gold Fields has acquired strategic interests in a number of smaller mining companies. Taking advantage of favourable equity market conditions, we have steadily reduced these non-core equity holdings over the past two years.

At Chakana Copper, we participated in a rights offer in February 2021, that increased our holding to 19.9% for an additional C$3m (US$3m). Chakana Copper is currently advancing the prospective Soledad gold-silver project in central Peru. Also during 2021 we sold our Maverix warrants for US$19m. Our current strategic shareholdings are shown in the table below.

Gold Fields' non-core investments (31 December 2021)

Investment Shareholding Market value 
Galiano Gold (formerly Asanko Gold) 9.8% 16 
Rusoro Mining 25.7%
Chakana Copper 19.9%  5 
Magamatic Resources 7.5%
Lefroy Exploration 15.0%
Lunnon Metals 31.7% 15 
Consolidated Woodjam Copper 13.3%
Hamelin Gold 10.0%
Total value   52 


There were no material developments relating to the Far Southeast (FSE) project in the Philippines during 2021. The project is held by Far Southeast Gold Resources, in which Gold Fields has a 40% interest with an option to increase its stake to 60%, and is adjacent to an existing mining operation with established infrastructure. Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company of the Philippines holds the remaining 60% interest and manages the existing mining operation.

FSE's mining licence was up for renewal for 25 years in 2015. The Philippine government ruled that Free Prior and Informed Consent was required for the renewal, however, this requirement was overturned during independent arbitration and, in 2018, by the country's Court of Appeals. The government is appealing that ruling in the Supreme Court, where the case is currently pending.

Gold Fields reversed previous impairments of its investment in FSE in 2020. Further impairment write-downs were recorded in 2021, resulting in a carrying value of US$114m at end-2021, based on the fair value less cost of disposal of the investment, which was indirectly derived from Lepanto's market value on the Philippine Stock Exchange. Gold Fields' holding costs in FSE are approximately US$0.2m, related mainly to staff and administrative costs, managing existing drill core, environmental monitoring, community relations work, as well as activities to support the permitting process.