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  Arrow St Ives Gold Mine
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REVIEW OF OPERATIONS: WEST AFRICA REGION

F2009 Achievements

  • Excellent safety record.
  • CIL plant commissioning completed.

Peter Turner Executive
Vice President: Head of West Africa Region

During the last year, Ghana concluded peaceful national elections that resulted in a new government being formed. Various ministerial changes have occurred as a result, and Gold Fields Ghana has already formed strong relationships with the new incumbents.

Most importantly, it is gratifying to report that we had an excellent safety year in the region, with no fatalities. The entire region is continuing its focus on ensuring that the detailed and considerable safety policies and philosophies of the Gold Fields Group are adhered to on a daily basis. In addition, the approach to employee well-being has been accelerated by integrating all chronic disease initiatives into the overall programme, including a renewed focus on malaria. The on-site health care services are well supported by the Group as these remain vitally important in this environment, especially when it comes to the early diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases such as malaria.

Gold Fields Ghana continues its commitment to other areas of sustainable development through the implementation of a range of carefully considered projects and effective stakeholder engagement. The Gold Fields Ghana Foundation focuses on the need to improve the quality of lives of some 30,000 men, women and children in 16 primary stakeholder communities, and continues to achieve positive results in areas such as agriculture, education, health and sanitation.

Within the region, we remain focused on creating a sustainable production platform, while growing the region with a specific focus in Ghana and Mali. The CIL plant expansion project at Tarkwa was completed in December 2008. However, the slower than planned build-up of the plant impacted negatively on the year’s gold production, which was slightly lower than last year. The CIL plant, which is the third largest in the world, is now fully operational and is expected to have a positive impact on production in F2010. At Damang, where gold production rose to 200,000 ounces, the focus remains on maintaining plant efficiencies and optimising throughput volumes. One of the initiatives to support this objective is to install a secondary crusher plant, which will enhance the throughput of hard material, while maintaining grade quality.

The West Africa Region is focused on increasing its exploration effort to improve the overall resource base, and the eventual life of mine in the region. At Damang, we plan to spend US$10 million on brownfields exploration drilling during F2010, with a view to at least double the reserves of the mine. We are also planning to accelerate our greenfields exploration footprint in the Yanfolila Belt in Mali, where we have a significant interest in the Sankarani joint venture project. Subsequent to year-end, Gold Fields made a successful offer to acquire the entire issued share capital of Glencar, which includes Glencar’s advanced Komana prospect. Our medium-term target is to grow attributable production in the West Africa Region to more than one million ounces per annum.

The region remains committed to optimising the business process through the use of the Six Sigma continuous improvement philosophy, while maintaining a safe working environment, and improving the quality of life for our employees and the communities that surround us.

Peter Turner