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Accounting policies

The principal accounting policies applied in the preparation of these consolidated financial statements are set out below. These policies have been consistently applied to all the years presented, except for the adoption of new and revised standards and interpretations.


The consolidated financial statements of the Group have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board, and the South African Companies Act. The consolidated financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention, as modified by available-for-sale financial assets, and financial assets and liabilities (including derivative instruments), which have been brought to account at fair value through profit or loss or through the fair value adjustment reserve in the statement of comprehensive income.

Standards, interpretations and amendments to published standards effective in F2010

During the financial year, the following new and revised accounting standards, amendments to standards and new interpretations were adopted by the Group:

  Nature of
the change
  Salient features of changes   Impact on
Financial position
of performance
  IFRS 1 First-Time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards and
IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements: Cost of an Investment in a Subsidiary, Jointly Controlled Entity or
First-time adopters can use a deemed cost of either fair value or the carrying amount under previous accounting practice to measure the initial cost of investments in subsidiaries, jointly controlled entities and associates in the separate financial statements.
The definition of the cost method from IAS 27 has been removed and replaced with a requirement to present dividends as income in the separate financial statements of the investor.


  No impact
  IFRS 2 Amendment to IFRS 2 Share-Based Payments: Vesting Conditions and Cancellations   Amendments  
Clarifies that vesting conditions are service conditions and performance
conditions only. Other features of a share-based payment are not vesting conditions.
All cancellations, whether by the entity or by other parties, should receive the same accounting treatment.

  No impact
  IFRS 3 Business Combinations   Revision  
Focuses on recognising different components of a business combination at fair value rather than a cost allocation.
Transaction costs are no longer capitalised as part of the cost of the
business combination.
All elements of consideration are recognised at the date of the business combination. Subsequent changes in the value of the consideration do not adjust goodwill, but rather impact income.
Payments that are not consideration affect income.
Acquirer’s interest includes previous holdings.
Introduction of a choice on how to recognise goodwill by either measuring the non-controlling interest at fair value or at its share of net assets.
Subsequent changes in deferred taxes recognised as part of the business combination impact income rather than adjust goodwill.
Additional guidance provided on recognition of assets acquired and
liabilities assumed.

  No impact
  IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures, Improving Disclosures about Financial Instruments   Amendments  
Introduces a three-level hierarchy for fair value measurement disclosures.
Requires entities to provide additional disclosures about the relative
reliability of fair value measurements.
Clarifies and enhances existing requirements for disclosure of liquidity risk.

  No Impact
  IFRS 8 Operating Segments   New standard  
An entity must report financial and descriptive information about its reportable segments.
Financial information to be reported on the same basis as is used internally for evaluating operating segment performance and deciding how to allocate resources to operating segments.
Additional disclosure requirements include factors used to identify the entity’s operating segments and the types of products and services from which each reportable segment derives its revenue.

  No impact
Annual improvements project is a collection of amendments to IFRS and are the result of conclusions reached by the Board on proposals made in its annual improvements project.
All the 2008 annual improvements as well as the 2009 annual improvements to IFRS 2 Share-based Payment, IAS 18 Revenue, IAS 38 Intangible Assets, IFRIC 9 Reassessment of Embedded Derivatives and IFRIC 16 Hedges of a Net Investment in a Foreign Operation were adopted by the group.

  No impact
  IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements   Revision  
Affects the presentation of owner changes in equity and of comprehensive income.
Requires presentation, in a statement of changes in equity, of all owner changes in equity. All non-owner changes in equity to be presented in one statement of comprehensive income or in two statements.
Requires disclosure of reclassification adjustments and income tax relating to each component of other comprehensive income.
Requires presentation of dividends recognised as distributions to owners and related amounts per share in the statement of changes in equity or in the notes.

  No impact
  IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements   Revision  
The equity providers of capital to the economic entity include both the parent company’s shareholders and the non-controlling interest (previously minority interest). Non-controlling interests continue to be recognised as part of equity. However, losses are allocated to the non-controlling interest even if a deficit balance results.

  No impact
  IAS 32 Financial Instruments: Presentation and IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Instruments – Puttable Financial Instruments and Obligations Arising on Liquidation   Amendments  
IAS 32 requires some financial instruments that meet the definition of a financial liability to be classified as equity. Puttable financial instruments and instruments which put an obligation on the entity to deliver to another party a pro rata share of the net assets of the entity only on liquidation are now specifically defined.
IAS 1 has been similarly amended to prescribe the necessary presentation and disclosure for such instruments.

  No impact
  IAS 39 Amendments to IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement Exposures Qualifying for Hedge Accounting   Amendments  
Prohibits designating inflation as a hedgeable component of a fixed rate debt.
Prohibits including time value in the one-sided hedged risk when designating options as hedges.

  No impact
  IFRIC 15 Agreements for the Construction of Real Estate   Interpretation  
Addresses diversity in accounting for real estate sales and clarifies how to determine whether an agreement is within the scope of IAS 11 Construction Contracts or IAS 18 Revenue and when revenue from construction should be recognised.

  IFRIC 16 Hedges of a Net Investment in a Foreign Operation   Interpretation  
Provides guidance on:
Identifying the foreign currency risks that qualify as a hedged risk (in the hedge of a net investment in a foreign operation).
Where, within a group, hedging instruments that are hedges of a net investment in a foreign operation can be held to qualify for hedge accounting.
How an entity should determine the amounts to be reclassified from the statement of comprehensive income to profit or loss for both the hedging instrument and the hedged item.

  No impact
  IFRIC 17 Distributions of Non-cash Assets to Owners   Interpretation  
Applies to the accounting for distributions of non-cash assets (commonly referred to as dividends in specie) to the owners of the entity. The interpretation clarifies that:
A dividend payable should be recognised when the dividend is appropriately authorised and is no longer at the discretion of the entity.
A dividend payable should be measured at the fair value of the net assets to be distributed.
An entity should recognise the difference between the dividend paid and the carrying amount of the net assets distributed in profit or loss.

  No impact
  IFRIC 18 Transfers of Assets from Customers   Interpretation  
Clarifies the accounting treatment for transfers of property, plant and equipment received from customers.
Applies to agreements with customers in which the entity receives cash from a customer when that amount of cash must be used only to construct or acquire an item of property, plant and equipment and the entity must then use the item of property, plant and equipment either to connect the customer to a network or to provide the customer with ongoing access to a supply of goods and services, or to do both.

  No impact

Standards, interpretations and amendments to published standards which are not yet effective
Certain new standards, amendments and interpretations to existing standards have been published that apply to the Group’s accounting periods beginning on 1 July 2010 or later periods but have not been early adopted by the Group. Management is currently reviewing the impact of these standards on the Group.

These standards, amendments and interpretations are:

  Nature of
the change
  Salient features of changes   Effective
  IFRS 1 Limited Exemption from Comparative IFRS 7 Disclosures for First-Time Adopters (amendment)   Amendment  
Provides first-time adopters with the same transition provisions as included in the amendment to IFRS 7.


  1 July 2010
  IFRS 2 Group Cash-Settled Share-Based Payment Transactions (amendment)   Amendment  
Clarifies the accounting for Group cash-settled share-based payment transactions.
The entity receiving the goods or services shall measure the share-based payment transaction as equity settled only when the awards granted are its own equity instruments, or the entity has no obligation to settle the share-based payment transaction.
The entity settling a share-based payment transaction when another entity
in the Group receives the goods or services recognises the transaction as
equity settled only if it is settled in its own equity instruments. In all other
cases, the transaction is accounted for as cash settled.

  1 January
  IFRS 9 Financial Instruments   New standard  
This IFRS is part of the IASB’s project to replace IAS 39.
Addresses classification and measurement of financial assets and replaces the multiple classification and measurement models in IAS 39 with a single
model that has only two classification categories: amortised cost and fair

  1 January
The remainder of the 2009 annual improvements as well as the 2010
improvements have not been early adopted by the Group.

  IAS 24 Related Party Disclosures (amendment)   Amendment  
This amendment provides partial relief from the requirement for government-related entities to disclose details of all transactions with the government and other government-related entities. It also clarifies and simplifies the definition of a related party.

  1 January
  IAS 32 Classification of Rights Issues (amendment)   Amendment  
Clarifies the accounting treatment when rights issues are denominated
in a currency other than the functional currency of the issuer.
The amendment states that if such rights are issued pro rata to an entity’s
existing shareholders for a fixed amount of currency, they should be
classified as equity regardless of the currency in which the exercise price is denominated.

  1 February
  Amendments to IFRIC 14   Amendment  
This amendment will have a limited impact as it applies only to companies
that are required to make minimum funding contributions to a defined
benefit pension plan.
It removes an unintended consequence of IFRIC 14 (AC 447) related to
voluntary pension prepayments when there is a minimum funding

  1 January
  IFRIC 19 Extinguishing Financial Liabilities with Equity Instruments   Interpretation  
  Clarifies the accounting when an entity renegotiates in terms of its debt with the result that the liability is extinguished through the debtor issuing its own equity instruments to the creditor.
A gain or loss is recognised in the profit and loss account based on the fair value of the equity instruments compared to the carrying amount of the debt.

  1 January

* Effective date refers to annual period beginning on or after said date.

Significant accounting judgements and estimates

Use of estimates: The preparation of the financial statements requires the Group’s management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. The determination of estimates requires the exercise of judgement based on various assumptions and other factors such as historical experience, current and expected economic conditions, and in some cases actuarial techniques. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

The more significant areas requiring the use of management estimates and assumptions relate to Mineral Reserves that are the basis of future cash flow estimates and unit-of-production depreciation, depletion and amortisation calculations; environmental, reclamation and closure obligations; estimates of recoverable gold and other materials in heap leach pads; asset impairments, write-downs of inventory to net realisable value; post-retirement healthcare liabilities, the fair value and accounting treatment of derivative financial instruments and deferred taxation.

Estimates and judgements are continually evaluated and are based on historical experience and other factors, including expectations of future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances.

The estimates and assumptions that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the financial year are discussed below.

Carrying value of property, plant and equipment and goodwill

All mining assets are amortised using the units-of-production method where the mine operating plan calls for production from proved and probable Mineral Reserves.

Mobile and other equipment is depreciated over the shorter of the estimated useful life of the asset or the estimate of mine life based on proved and probable Mineral Reserves.

The calculation of the units-of-production rate of amortisation could be impacted to the extent that actual production in the future is different from current forecast production based on proved and probable Mineral Reserves. This would generally result from the extent that there are significant changes in any of the factors or assumptions used in estimating Mineral Reserves. These factors could include:

  • Changes in proved and probable Mineral Reserves;
  • Differences between actual commodity prices and commodity price assumptions;
  • Unforeseen operational issues at mine sites;
  • Changes in capital, operating, mining, processing and reclamation costs, discount rates and foreign exchange rates; and
  • Changes in Mineral Reserves could similarly impact the useful lives of assets depreciated on a straight-line basis, where those lives are limited to the life of the mine.

The recoverable amounts of cash-generating units and individual assets have been determined based on the higher of value-in-use calculations and fair value less cost to sell. These calculations require the use of estimates and assumptions. It is reasonably possible that the gold price assumption may change which may then impact the Group estimated life-of-mine determinant and may then require a material adjustment to the carrying value of property, plant and equipment.

The Group reviews and tests the carrying value of assets when events or changes in circumstances suggest that the carrying amount may not be recoverable by comparing expected future cash flows to these carrying values. In addition, goodwill is tested for impairment on an annual basis. Assets are grouped at the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of cash flows of other assets and liabilities. If there are indications that impairment may have occurred, estimates are prepared of expected future cash flows of each group of assets. Expected future cash flows used to determine the value-in-use and fair value less costs to sell of property, plant and equipment are inherently uncertain and could materially change over time. They are significantly affected by a number of factors including reserves and production estimates, together with economic factors such as spot and future gold prices, discount rates, foreign currency exchange rates, estimates of costs to produce reserves and future capital expenditure.

An individual operating mine is not a typical going-concern business because of the finite life of its reserves. The allocation of goodwill to an individual mine will result in an eventual goodwill impairment due to the wasting nature of the mine. In accordance with the provisions of IAS 36, the Group performs its annual impairment review of goodwill during the fourth quarter of each year.

The carrying amount of property, plant and equipment at 30 June 2010 was R52,813 million (2009: R48,337 million). The carrying value of goodwill at 30 June 2010 was R4,459 million (2009: R4,459 million).

Mineral Reserves estimates

Mineral Reserves are estimates of the amount of product that can be economically and legally extracted from the Group’s properties. In order to calculate the reserves, estimates and assumptions are required about a range of geological, technical and economic factors, including but not limited to quantities, grades, production techniques, recovery rates, production costs, transport costs, commodity demand, commodity prices and exchange rates.

Estimating the quantity and grade of the Mineral Reserves requires the size, shape and depth of ore bodies to be determined by analysing geological data such as the logging and assaying of drill samples. This process may require complex and difficult geological judgements and calculations to interpret the data.

The Group is required to determine and report on the Mineral Reserves in accordance with the South African Mineral Resource Committee (SAMREC) code.

Estimates of Mineral Reserves may change from year to year due to the change in economic assumptions used to estimate Ore Reserves and due to additional geological data becoming available during the course of operations. Changes in reported proven and probable reserves may affect the Group’s financial results and position in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Asset carrying values may be affected due to changes in estimated cash flows;
  • Depreciation and amortisation charges to the income statement may change as these are calculated on the units-of-production method, or where the useful economic lives of assets change;
  • Deferred stripping costs recorded in the statement of financial position or charged to the income statement may change due to changes in stripping ratios or the units-of-production method of depreciation;
  • Decommissioning site restoration and environmental provisions may change where changes in Ore Reserves affect expectations about the timing or cost of these activities; and
  • The carrying value of deferred tax assets may change due to changes in estimates of the likely recovery of the tax benefits.


The Group assesses the stage of each mine construction project to determine when a mine moves into the production stage. The criteria used to assess the start date are determined based on the unique nature of each mine construction project. The Group considers various relevant criteria to assess when the mine is substantially complete, ready for its intended use and moves into the production stage. Some of the criteria would include, but are not limited to the following:

  • the level of capital expenditure compared to the construction cost estimates;
  • ability to produce metal in saleable form (within specifications); and
  • ability to sustain commercial levels of production of metal.

When a mine construction project moves into the production stage, the capitalisation of certain mine construction costs ceases and costs are expensed, except for capitalisable costs related to mining asset additions or improvements, underground mine development or ore reserve development.

Income taxes

The Group is subject to income taxes in numerous jurisdictions. Significant judgement is required in determining the provision for income taxes due to the complexity of legislation. There are many transactions and calculations for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain during the ordinary course of business. The Group recognises liabilities for anticipated tax audit issues based on estimates of whether additional taxes will be due. Where the final tax outcome of these matters is different from the amounts that were initially recorded, such differences will impact the income tax and deferred tax provisions in the period in which such determination is made.

The Group recognises the net future tax benefit related to deferred income tax assets to the extent that it is probable that the deductible temporary differences will reverse in the foreseeable future. Assessing the recoverability of deferred income tax assets requires the Group to make significant estimates related to expectations of future taxable income. Estimates of future taxable income are based on forecast cash flows from operations and the application of existing tax laws in each jurisdiction. To the extent that future cash flows and taxable income differ significantly from estimates, the ability of the Group to realise the net deferred tax assets recorded at the reporting date could be impacted.

Additionally, future changes in tax laws in the jurisdictions in which the Group operates could limit the ability of the Group to obtain tax deductions in future periods.

Carrying values at 30 June 2010:
Deferred taxation liability: R7,143 million (2009: R6,129 million)
Taxation liability: R790 million (2009: R792 million)

Provision for environmental rehabilitation costs

The Group’s mining and exploration activities are subject to various laws and regulations governing the protection of the environment. The Group recognises management’s best estimate for asset retirement obligations in the period in which they are incurred. Actual costs incurred in future periods could differ materially from the estimates. Additionally, future changes to environmental laws and regulations, life-of-mine estimates and discount rates could affect the carrying amount of this provision.

The carrying amounts of the rehabilitation obligations at 30 June 2010 were R2,296 million (2009: R2,268 million).

Stockpiles, gold in process and product inventories

Costs that are incurred in or benefit the productive process are accumulated as stockpiles, gold in process, ore on leach pads and product inventories. Net realisable value tests are performed at least annually and represent the estimated future sales price of the product based on prevailing spot metals prices at the reporting date, less estimated costs to complete production and bring the product to sale.

Stockpiles are measured by estimating the number of tonnes added and removed from the stockpile, the number of contained gold ounces based on assay data, and the estimated recovery percentage based on the expected processing method. Stockpile tonnages are verified by periodic surveys.

The carrying amount of inventories at 30 June 2010 was R2,344 million (2009: R2,148 million).

Share-based payments

The Group issues equity-settled share-based payments to certain employees and non-executive directors. These instruments are measured at fair value at grant date, using the Black-Scholes or Monte Carlo simulation valuation models, which require assumptions regarding the estimated term of the option, share price volatility and expected dividend yield. While Gold Fields’ management believes that these assumptions are appropriate, the use of different assumptions could have a material impact on the fair value of the option grant and the related recognition of share-based compensation expense in the consolidated income statement. Gold Fields’ options have characteristics significantly different from those of traded options and therefore fair values may also differ.

The income statement charge for 2010 was R408 million (2009: R303 million).

Financial instruments

The estimated fair value of financial instruments is determined at discrete points in time based on the relevant market information. The fair value is calculated with reference to market rates using industry valuation techniques and appropriate models. The carrying values of derivative financial instruments at 30 June 2010 was a liability of Rnil (2009: a liability of R14 million).


Contingencies can be either possible assets or possible liabilities arising from past events which, by their nature, will only be resolved when one or more future events not wholly within the control of the Group occur or fail to occur. The assessment of such contingencies inherently involves the exercise of significant judgement and estimates of the outcome of future events.


2.1 Business combinations

The acquisition method of accounting is used to account for business combinations by the Group. The consideration transferred for the acquisition of a business is the fair values of the assets transferred, the liabilities incurred and the equity interests issued by the Group. The consideration transferred includes the fair value of any asset or liability resulting from a contingent consideration arrangement. Acquisition-related costs are expensed as incurred. Identifiable assets acquired and liabilities and contingent liabilities assumed in a business combination are measured initially at their fair values at the acquisition date. On an acquisition-by-acquisition basis, the Group recognises any non-controlling interest in the acquiree either at fair value or at the non-controlling interest’s proportionate share of the acquiree’s net assets. Subsequently, the carrying amount of non-controlling interest is the amount of the interest at initial recognition plus the non-controlling interest’s share of the subsequent changes in equity. Total comprehensive income is attributed to non-controlling interest even if this results in the non-controlling interest having a deficit balance.

The excess of the consideration transferred, the amount of any non-controlling interest in the acquiree and the acquisition date fair value of any previous equity interest in the acquiree over the fair value of the identifiable net assets acquired are recorded as goodwill. If this is less than the fair value of the net assets of the subsidiary acquired in the case of a bargain purchase, the difference is recognised directly in the statement of comprehensive income.

2.2 Subsidiaries

Subsidiaries are all entities (including special-purpose entities) over which the Group has the power to govern the financial and operating policies generally accompanying a shareholding of more than one half of the voting rights. The existence and effect of potential voting rights that are currently exercisable or convertible are considered when assessing whether the Group controls another entity. Subsidiaries are fully consolidated from the date on which control is transferred to the Group until the date on which control ceases.

Inter-company transactions, balances and unrealised gains on transactions between Group companies are eliminated. Unrealised losses are also eliminated. Accounting policies of subsidiaries have been changed where necessary to ensure consistency with the policies adopted by the Group.

2.3 Transactions and non-controlling interests

The Group treats transactions with non-controlling interests as transactions with equity owners of the Group. For purchases from noncontrolling interests, the difference between any consideration paid and the relevant share acquired of the carrying value of net assets of the subsidiary is recorded in equity. Gains or losses on disposals to non-controlling interests are also recorded in equity.

2.4 Associates

The equity method of accounting is used for an investment over which the Group exercises significant influence, but not control, and normally owns between 20% and 50% of the voting equity. Associates are equity accounted from the effective date of acquisition to the date that the Group ceases to have significant influence.

Results of associates are equity accounted using the results of their most recent audited annual financial statements or unaudited interim financial statements. Any losses from associates are brought to account in the consolidated financial statements until the interest in such associates is written down to zero. Thereafter, losses are accounted for only insofar as the Group is committed to providing financial support to such associates.

The carrying value of an investment in associate represents the cost of the investment, including goodwill, a share of the post-acquisition retained earnings and losses, any other movements in reserves and any impairment losses. The carrying value is assessed annually for existence of indicators of impairment and if such exist, the carrying amount is compared to the recoverable amount, being the higher of value-in-use or fair value less costs to sell. If an impairment in value has occurred, it is recognised in the period in which the impairment arose.


Functional and presentation currency

Items included in the financial statements of each of the Group’s entities are measured using the currency of the primary economic environment in which the entity operates (the functional currency). The consolidated financial statements are presented in South African rand, which is the company’s functional and presentation currency.

Transactions and balances

Foreign currency transactions are translated into the functional currency using the exchange rates prevailing at the dates of the transactions. Foreign exchange gains and losses resulting from the settlement of such transactions, and from the translation of monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies, are recognised in the income statement. Translation differences on available-forsale equities are included in the statement of comprehensive income.

3.1 Foreign operations

The results and financial position of all the Group entities (none of which has the currency of a hyperinflationary economy) that have a functional currency different from the presentation currency are translated into the presentation currency as follows:

Assets and liabilities are translated at the exchange rate ruling at the reporting date. Equity items are translated at historical rates. Income statement items are translated at the average exchange rate for the year. Exchange differences on translation are accounted for in the statement of comprehensive income. These differences will be recognised in earnings upon realisation of the underlying operation.

On consolidation, exchange differences arising from the translation of the net investment in foreign operations (i.e. the reporting entity’s interest in the net assets of that operation), and of borrowings and other currency instruments designated as hedges of such investments, are taken to the statement of comprehensive income. When a foreign operation is sold, exchange differences that were recorded in the statement of comprehensive income are recognised in the income statement as part of the gain or loss on disposal.

Goodwill and fair value adjustments arising on the acquisition of a foreign operation are treated as assets and liabilities of the foreign operation and are translated at each reporting date at the closing rate.


4.1 Mine development and infrastructure

Mining assets, including mine development and infrastructure costs and mine plant facilities, are recorded at cost less accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses.

Expenditure incurred to evaluate and develop new ore bodies, to define mineralisation in existing ore bodies, to establish or expand productive capacity, is capitalised until commercial levels of production are achieved, at which times the costs are amortised as set out below.

Development of ore bodies includes the development of shaft systems and waste rock removal that allows access to reserves that are economically recoverable in the future. Subsequent to this, costs are capitalised if the criteria for recognition as an asset are met. Access to individual ore bodies exploited by the Group is limited to the timespan of the Group’s respective mining leases.

4.2 Borrowing costs

Borrowing costs incurred in respect of assets requiring a substantial period of time to prepare for their intended future use are capitalised to the date that the assets are substantially completed.

4.3 Mineral and surface rights

Mineral and surface rights are recorded at cost less accumulated amortisation and accumulated impairment losses. When there is little likelihood of a mineral right being exploited, or the fair value of mineral rights has diminished below cost, a write-down is effected against income in the period that such determination is made.

4.4 Land

Land is shown at cost and is not depreciated.

4.5 Other assets

Non-mining assets are recorded at cost less accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. These assets include the assets of the mining operations not included in mine development and infrastructure, borrowing costs, mineral and surface rights and land and all the assets of the non-mining operations.

4.6 Amortisation and depreciation of mining assets

Amortisation and depreciation is determined to give a fair and systematic charge in the income statement taking into account the nature of a particular ore body and the method of mining that ore body. To achieve this, the following calculation methods are used:

  • mining assets, including mine development and infrastructure costs, mine plant facilities and evaluation costs, are amortised over the life-of-mine using the units-of-production method, based on estimated proved and probable Ore Reserves above infrastructure.
  • where it is anticipated that the life-of-mine will significantly exceed the proved and probable reserves, the life-of-mine is estimated using a methodology that takes account of current exploration information to assess the likely recoverable gold from a particular area. Such estimates are adjusted for the level of confidence in the assessment and the probability of conversion to reserves. The probability of conversion is based on historical experience of similar mining and geological conditions.
  • at the Australian operations, the calculation of amortisation takes into account future costs which will be incurred to develop all the proved and probable Ore Reserves.

Proved and probable Ore Reserves reflect estimated quantities of economically recoverable reserves, which can be recovered in future from known mineral deposits.

Certain mining plant and equipment included in mine development and infrastructure is depreciated on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives.

4.7 Depreciation of non-mining assets

Non-mining assets are recorded at cost and depreciated on a straight-line basis over their current expected useful lives to their residual values as follows:

  • Vehicles, 20%
  • Computers, 33.3%
  • Furniture and equipment, 10%.

The assets’ useful lives and residual values are reassessed at each reporting date and adjusted if appropriate.

4.8 Mining exploration

Expenditure on advances to companies solely for exploration activities, prior to evaluation, is charged against income until the viability of the mining venture has been proven. Expenditure incurred on exploration “farm-in” projects is written off until an ownership interest has vested. Exploration expenditure to define mineralisation at existing ore bodies is considered mine development costs and is capitalised until commercial levels of production are achieved.

Exploration activities at certain of the Group’s non-South African operations are broken down into defined areas within the mining lease boundaries. These areas are generally defined by structural and geological continuity. Exploration costs in these areas are capitalised to the extent that specific exploration programmes have yielded targets and/or results that warrant further exploration in future years.

4.9 Impairment

Recoverability of the carrying values of long-term assets or cash-generating units of the Group are reviewed whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that such carrying value may not be recoverable. To determine whether a long-term asset or cashgenerating unit may be impaired, the higher of “value-in-use” or “fair value less costs to sell” is compared to the carrying value of the asset/unit.

A cash-generating unit is defined by the Group as the smallest identifiable group of assets that generates cash inflows that are largely independent of the cash inflows from other assets or groups of assets. Generally for the Group this represents an individual operating mine, including mines which are part of a larger mine complex. The costs attributable to individual shafts of a mine are impaired if the shaft is closed.

Exploration targets in respect of which costs have been capitalised at certain of the Group’s international operations are evaluated on an annual basis to ensure that these targets continue to support capitalisation of the underlying costs. Those that do not are impaired.

When any infrastructure is closed down during the year, any carrying value attributable to that infrastructure is impaired.

4.10 Leases

Operating lease costs are charged against income on a straight-line basis over the period of the lease.


Goodwill is stated at cost less accumulated impairment losses. Goodwill on acquisition of associates is tested for impairment as part of the carrying amount of the investment in associate whenever there is any objective evidence that the investment may be impaired. Goodwill on acquisition of a subsidiary is assessed at each reporting date or whenever there are impairment indicators to establish whether there is any indication of impairment to goodwill. A write-down is made if the carrying amount exceeds the recoverable amount. Impairment losses on goodwill are not reversed. Gains and losses on the disposal of an entity include the carrying amount of goodwill allocated to the entity sold.

Goodwill is allocated to cash-generating units for the purpose of impairment testing. The allocation is made to those cash-generating units or groups of cash-generating units that are expected to benefit from the business combination in which the goodwill arose.


At certain of the Group’s non-South African open-pit operations, costs related to removing waste within the ore body once it has been exposed are accounted for in the income statement using the waste normalisation method. The objective of this method is to provide that every ounce mined from the relevant pit bears its equal pro rata share of the total in-pit waste removal cost, expected to be incurred over the life of the pit. In-pit waste removal costs are expensed to the income statement by determining the ratio of ounces mined in each period to total proved and probable reserve ounces expected to be recovered from the pit and applying this ratio to total waste removal costs expected to be incurred over the life of the pit. The resultant asset created by the timing difference between costs incurred and costs expensed is recorded in the statement of financial position as a current asset.


Deferred taxation is provided in full, using the liability method, on temporary differences existing at each reporting date between the tax values of assets and liabilities and their carrying amounts. Substantively enacted tax rates are used to determine future anticipated effective tax rates which in turn are used in the determination of deferred taxation.

These temporary differences are expected to result in taxable or deductible amounts in determining taxable profits for future periods when the carrying amount of the asset is recovered or the liability is settled. The principal temporary differences arise from depreciation of property, plant and equipment, provisions, unutilised capital allowances and tax losses carried forward.

Deferred tax assets relating to the carry-forward of unutilised tax losses and/or unutilised capital allowances are recognised to the extent it is probable that future taxable profit will be available against which the unutilised tax losses and/or unutilised capital allowances can be recovered. Deferred tax assets are reviewed at each reporting date and are adjusted if recovery is no longer probable.

No provision is made for any potential taxation liability on the distribution of retained earnings by Group companies.


Inventories are valued at the lower of cost and net realisable value. Gold on hand represents production on hand after the smelting process. Due to the different nature of the Group’s non-South African operations, gold in process for such operations represents either production in broken ore form, gold in circuit or production from the time of placement on heap leach pads.

Cost is determined on the following basis:

  • Gold on hand and gold in process is valued using weighted average cost. Cost includes production, amortisation and related administration costs.
  • Consumable stores are valued at weighted average cost, after appropriate provision for redundant and slow-moving items.

Net realisable value is determined with reference to relevant market prices.


Financial instruments recognised in the statement of financial position include cash and cash equivalents, investments, trade and other receivables, borrowings, trade and other payables and derivative financial instruments. The particular recognition methods adopted are disclosed in the individual policy statements associated with each item.

9.1 Investments

Investments comprise (i) investments in listed companies which are classified as available-for-sale and are accounted for at fair value, with unrealised holding gains and losses excluded from earnings and reported in the statement of comprehensive income and are released to the income statement when the investments are sold; (ii) investments in unlisted companies which are accounted for at directors’ valuation adjusted for write-downs where appropriate.

Purchases and sales of investments are recognised on the trade date, which is the date that the Group commits to purchase or sell the asset. Cost of purchase includes transaction costs. The fair value of listed investments is based on quoted bid prices.

Realised gains and losses are included in determining net income or loss. Unrealised losses, other than temporary, arising from a significant decline (impairment) in the value of the investment are included in determining net income or loss.

Investments in subsidiaries and associates are recognised at cost less accumulated impairment losses.

9.2 Derivative financial instruments

The Group’s general policy with regard to its exposure to the dollar gold price is to remain unhedged. However, hedges are sometimes undertaken on a project-specific basis as follows:

  • to protect cash flows at times of significant expenditure;
  • for specific debt servicing requirements; and
  • to safeguard the viability of higher cost operations.

The Group may from time to time establish currency and/or interest rate and/or commodity financial instruments to protect underlying cash flows.

On the date a derivative contract is entered into, the Group designates the derivative as (1) a hedge of the fair value of a recognised asset or liability (fair value hedge), (2) a hedge of a forecast transaction or a firm commitment (cash flow hedge), (3) a hedge of a net investment in a foreign entity, or (4) should the derivative not fall into one of the three categories above it is not regarded as a hedge.

Derivative financial instruments are initially recognised in the statement of financial position at fair value and subsequently remeasured at their fair value, unless they meet the criteria for the normal purchases’ normal sales exemption. Recognition of derivatives which meet the above criteria under IAS 39 is deferred until settlement.

Changes in fair value of a derivative that is highly effective, and that is designated and qualifies as a fair value hedge, are recorded in earnings, along with the change in the fair value of the hedged asset or liability that is attributable to the hedged risk. If the hedge no longer meets the requirements for hedge accounting, the adjustment to the carrying amount of the hedge, for which the effective interest rate method is used, is amortised to profit or loss over the period to maturity.

Changes in fair value of a derivative that is highly effective, and that is designated as a cash flow hedge, are recognised directly in the statement of comprehensive income. The gain or loss relating to the ineffective portion is recognised immediately in the income statement. Where the forecast transaction or firm commitment results in the recognition of an asset or liability, the gains and losses previously deferred in equity are transferred from equity and included in the initial measurement of the cost of the asset or liability. Amounts deferred in the statement of comprehensive income are included in earnings in the same periods during which the hedged firm commitment or forecast transaction affects earnings. When a hedging instrument expires or is sold, or when a hedge no longer meets the requirements for hedge accounting, any cumulative gain or loss existing in equity at that time remains in equity and is recognised when the forecast transaction is ultimately recognised in the income statement. When a forecast transaction is no longer expected to occur, the cumulative gain or loss that was reported in equity is immediately transferred to the income statement.

Hedges of net investments in foreign entities are accounted for similarly to cash flow hedges. Any gain or loss on the hedging instrument relating to the effective portion of the hedge is recognised in equity. The gain or loss relating to the ineffective portion is recognised immediately in the income statement. Gains and losses accumulated in equity are included in the income statement when the foreign operation is partially disposed of or sold.

Certain derivative transactions, while providing effective economic hedges under the Group’s risk management policies, do not qualify for hedge accounting. Changes in the fair value of derivatives that are not designated as hedges or that do not qualify for hedge accounting are recognised immediately in the income statement.

9.3 Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash on hand, demand deposits and short-term, highly liquid investments readily convertible to known amounts of cash and subject to insignificant risk of changes in value and are measured at cost which is deemed to be fair value as they have a short-term maturity.

Bank overdrafts are included within current liabilities in the statement of financial position.

9.4 Trade receivables

Trade receivables are initially recognised at fair value and subsequently carried at amortised cost less provision for impairment. Estimates made for impairment are based on a review of all outstanding amounts at year end. Irrecoverable amounts are written off during the year in which they are identified.

9.5 Trade payables

Trade payables are recognised initially at fair value and subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method.

9.6 Embedded derivatives

The Group assesses whether an embedded derivative is required to be separated from a host contract and accounted for as a derivative when the Group first becomes a party to a contract. Subsequent reassessment is not performed unless there is a change in the terms of the contract that significantly modifies the cash flows.

9.7 Financial guarantees

Financial guarantee contracts are accounted for as financial instruments and are recognised initially at fair value and are subsequently measured at the higher of the amount determined in accordance with IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Assets, and the initial amount recognised less cumulative amortisation.

9.8 Non-current assets held-for-sale

Non-current assets held-for-sale (or disposal groups) are classified as held-for-sale if their carrying amount will be recovered principally through a sale transaction, not through continuing use. These assets may be a component of an entity, a disposal group or an individual non-current asset. Non-current assets held-for-sale are stated at the lower of carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell.

A discontinued operation is a component of an entity that either has been disposed of, or that is classified as held-for-sale, and:
(a) represents a separate major line of business or geographical area of operations; (b) is part of a single co-ordinated plan to dispose of a separate major line of business or geographical area of operations; or (c) is a subsidiary acquired exclusively with a view to resale.


Provisions are recognised when the Group has a present obligation, legal or constructive resulting from past events and it is probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation and a reliable estimate can be made of the amount of the obligation.


Borrowings are recognised initially at fair value, net of transaction costs incurred, where applicable and subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method.

Interest payable on borrowings is recognised in the income statement over the term of the borrowings using the effective interest method.

Borrowings are classified as current liabilities unless the Group has an unconditional right to defer settlement of the liability for at least 12 months after the reporting date.


Long-term environmental obligations are based on the Group’s environmental management plans, in compliance with applicable environmental and regulatory requirements.

Full provision is made based on the net present value of the estimated cost of restoring the environmental disturbance that has occurred up to the reporting date. The unwinding of the obligation is accounted for in the income statement.

The estimated costs of rehabilitation are reviewed annually and adjusted as appropriate for changes in legislation, technology or other circumstances. Cost estimates are not reduced by the potential proceeds from the sale of assets or from plant clean-up at closure.

Changes in estimates are capitalised or reversed against the relevant asset. Estimates are discounted at a pre-tax rate that reflects current market assessments.

Increases due to additional environmental disturbances are capitalised and amortised over the remaining lives of the mines. These increases are accounted for on a net present value basis.

For certain South African operations annual contributions are made to dedicated rehabilitation trust funds to fund the estimated cost of rehabilitation during and at the end of the life of the relevant mine. The amounts contributed to this trust fund are included under noncurrent assets and are measured at fair value. Interest earned on monies paid to rehabilitation trust funds is accrued on a time proportion basis and is recorded as interest income. These trusts are consolidated for Group purposes.

In respect of certain South African operations and all non-South African operations, bank guarantees are provided for funding of the environmental rehabilitation obligations.


13.1 Pension and provident funds

The Group operates a defined contribution retirement plan and contributes to a number of industry-based defined contribution retirement plans. The retirement plans are funded by payments from employees and Group companies.

Contributions to defined contribution funds are charged against income as incurred.

13.2 Post-retirement health care costs

Medical cover is provided through a number of different schemes. The Group has an obligation to provide medical benefits to certain of its pensioners and dependants of ex-employees. These liabilities have been provided in full, calculated on an actuarial basis. These liabilities are unfunded. Periodic valuation of these obligations is carried out by independent actuaries using appropriate mortality tables, long-term estimates of increases in medical costs and appropriate discount rates.

13.3 Share-based payments

The Group operates a number of equity-settled compensation plans. The fair value of the equity-settled instruments is measured by reference to the fair value of the equity instrument granted which in turn is determined using the modified Black-Scholes and Monte Carlo simulation models on the date of grant.

Fair value is based on market prices of the equity-settled instruments granted, if available, taking into account the terms and conditions upon which those equity-settled instruments were granted. Fair value of equity-settled instruments granted is estimated using appropriate valuation models and appropriate assumptions at grant date. Non-market vesting conditions (service period prior to vesting) are not taken into account when estimating the fair value of the equity-settled instruments at grant date. Market conditions are taken into account in determining the fair value at grant date.

The fair value of the equity-settled instruments is recognised as an employee benefit expense over the vesting period based on the Group’s estimate of the number of instruments that will eventually vest, with a corresponding increase in the share-based payment reserve. Vesting assumptions for non-market conditions are reviewed at each reporting date to ensure they reflect current expectations.

Where the terms of an equity-settled award are modified, the originally determined expense is recognised as if the terms had not been modified. In addition, an expense is recognised for any modification, which increases the total fair value of the share-based payment arrangement, or is otherwise beneficial to the participant as measured at the date of the modification.

13.4 Termination benefits

Termination benefits are payable when employment is terminated by the Group before the normal retirement date, or whenever an employee accepts voluntary redundancy in exchange for these benefits. The Group recognises termination benefits when it is demonstrably committed to either: terminating the employment of current employees according to a detailed formal plan without possibility of withdrawal; or providing termination benefits as a result of an offer made to encourage voluntary redundancy. Benefits falling due more than 12 months after the reporting date are discounted to present value.


Ordinary shares are classified as equity.

Incremental costs directly attributable to the issue of new shares are shown in equity as a deduction therefrom, net of tax. Incremental costs directly attributable to the issue of new shares for the acquisition of a business are included in the cost of acquisition as part of the purchase consideration.


Revenue is recognised to the extent that it is probable that economic benefits will flow to the Group and the amount of revenue can be reliably measured. Revenue is stated at the fair value of the consideration received or receivable.

15.1 Revenue arising from gold and gold equivalent sales is recognised when the significant risks and rewards of ownership pass to the buyer. The price of gold, silver and copper is determined by market forces.

Concentrate revenue is calculated, net of refining and treatment charges, on a best estimate basis on shipment date, using forward metal prices to the estimated final pricing date, adjusted for the specific terms of the agreements. Variations between the price recorded at the shipment date and the actual final price received are caused by changes in prevailing copper prices, and result in an embedded derivative in the accounts receivable. The embedded derivative is marked to market each period until final settlement occurs, with changes in fair value classified as provisional price adjustments and included as a component of revenue.

15.2 Revenue from services is recognised over the period the services are rendered and is accrued in the financial statements.

15.3 Dividends, which include capitalisation dividends, are recognised when the right to receive payment is established.

15.4 Interest income is recognised on a time proportion basis taking account of the principal outstanding and the effective rate over the period to maturity.


Dividends and the related taxation thereon are recognised only when such dividends are declared.


Earnings/(loss) per share is calculated based on the net income/(loss) divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the year. A diluted earnings per share is presented when the inclusion of ordinary shares that may be issued in the future has a dilutive effect on earnings per share.


Operating segments are reported in a manner consistent with the internal reporting provided to the chief operating decision-maker and are based on individual mining operations. The chief operating decision-maker, who is responsible for allocating resources and assessing performance of the operating segments, has been identified as the Executive Committee that makes strategic decisions.


Where necessary, comparatives are adjusted to conform to changes in presentation. No comparatives were adjusted in the current year unless otherwise stated.


The translation of the financial statements into US dollar is based on the average exchange rate for the year for the income statement and cash flow statement and the year-end closing exchange rate for statement of financial position items. Exchange differences on translation are accounted for in the statement of comprehensive income.

This information is provided as supplementary information only.