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  South Africa Region

South Africa Region

The South Africa Region’s gold Mineral Resource base has decreased by one per cent and the Mineral Reserve has decreased by five per cent, net of mined depletion. The South Africa Region currently accounts for 81 per cent (including WWTTP gold) and 79 per cent of the Group’s attributable precious metal and gold equivalent Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve base respectively.

The South Africa Region, with its three mature operations and the developing South Deep project, remains key in the Gold Fields vision of being the global leader in sustainable gold mining with gold Mineral Resources of approximately 230 million ounces (including WWTTP gold) and Mineral Reserves of approximately 62 million ounces post depletion.

Notable regional points are:

  • Technical challenges in the fields of the Mine Call Factor (MCF), dilution and quality mining, initiated a new drive for the SA operations to improve the ore grade delivered to the mill through a significant focus on and improvement in Volume, Value, Quality and old Gold (VVQoG);
  • Mechanised off-reef development at the long-life shafts increased from 36 per cent in financial 2009 to 68 per cent in financial 2010, which will result in improved mining flexibility;
  • A technical review of the Mineral Resource base is in progress at Driefontein, Kloof and Beatrix, with a special focus on remnant pillars, unminable blocks, inaccessible blocks, as well as areas outside the current life-of-mine footprint. This is part of the process to increase the definition of planning resources and aid the efficient conversion of Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves;
  • The South Deep project build-up is on track to reach its target production rate of between 750,000 to 800,000 ounces of gold by end of 2014;
  • The application to convert South Deep’s old-order mining right into a new-order mining right, which includes an additional contiguous portion of ground known as Uncle Harry’s, was executed by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) post 30 June 2010; and
  • Feasibility level work is continuing on optimising the WWTTP project (growth) in parallel with the required environmental and permitting activities.

Driefontein

Gold Mineral Resource ounces, excluding WWTTP gold, decreased by one per cent, mainly due to depletion. Mineral Reserve ounces decreased by five per cent, mainly due to depletion and the removal of high grade pillars defined through the application of safety and risk protocols.

The geological models for the Middelvlei and Ventersdorp Contact Reefs were reviewed and advanced during the past year and as a consequence development strategies of the demarcated mining areas were accordingly optimised. Ongoing underground resource definition drilling and exploration will further enhance the geological modeling and rezoning of the Multi-Band Carbon Leader Reef facies at Driefontein.

Driefontein is conducting an optimisation study on mining below current infrastructure. This study is currently investigating a viable alternative to the 9 Shaft project, such as a phased mini-decline system or a hanging wall tertiary shaft.

Kloof

Gold Mineral Resource ounces, excluding WWTTP gold, decreased by one per cent as a result of depletion. Mineral Reserve ounces decreased by ten per cent due to depletion as well as the exclusion of lower grade ore and high grade pillars for safety reasons.

Drilling of long inclined boreholes west of 4 Shaft and below 7 Shaft, resulted in increased high grade Ventersdorp Contact Reef (VCR) Sandy 1 facies. Exploration drilling to further define these facies boundaries is continuing, both to the north and the west of 4 Shaft, to facilitate improved geology models that will strengthen the resource definition.

The Middelvlei Reef (MR) drilling, targeting the moderate to high grade channels below 29 level on the 56 line at 1 SV Shaft, confirmed the down dip extension of these channels. The MR facies model has been revised to accommodate the latest changes derived from the drilling.

Kloof has converted its 1 Plant to processing low grade surface material, while the 2 Plant will be processing the reef tonnes from underground with any surplus tonnes being trucked to the nearby South Deep’s plant. An ammonia plant has been commissioned at 3 Shaft which will reduce the underground temperatures at 2 Sub-vertical and 3 Shafts. All flat-end development at Kloof’s 4 Shaft is now fully mechanised and the repairs to the Main Shaft infrastructure are proceeding as planned with an additional pump column scheduled to be installed later in the year.

Beatrix

Mineral Resource ounces decreased by three per cent as a result of depletion. The Mineral Reserve ounces decreased by eleven per cent, due to depletion, exclusion of specific mining areas as a result of infrastructure and footprint reduction.

At Beatrix, maintenance of main and secondary development volumes has provided for continued ore body definition and selective mining of relevant areas. At north section, ongoing resolution of geological facies and value trends are being driven by underground exploration drilling and detailed geological mapping, which defines areas of potential that will contribute to the future sustainability and volume build-up.

Underground and surface exploration drilling continued during financial 2010 in the Vlakpan area at north section, the G-Block area at south section and the North Block at west section. Continued strategic exploration programmes are in place to facilitate and further refine geology and evaluation models and to fast track the Mineral Resource to Mineral Reserve conversion of various mine extension projects.

South Deep

The 30 June 2010 Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves are based on the declared 30 June 2009 figures, net of depletion for the fiscal year. The gold Mineral Resource ounces, excluding WWTTP gold remained relatively consistent year-on-year, while the Mineral Reserve ounces decreased by one per cent, principally due to depletion.

The Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for South Shaft (Old Mine) plus the majority of the VCR and the ground below infrastructure, continue to be stated as reviewed and approved by an Independent Review Panel of consultants as at December 2005. The figures reported for the Upper Elsburg Reefs from the ground between 87 and 110 levels have been derived from modelling in accordance with Gold Fields’ standards and procedures (including Uncle Harry’s).

The exploration drilling programme within the mine lease area and adjacent Kalbasfontein Prospecting Right continued during the year. The surface drilling programme is 55 per cent complete, with the last borehole results expected in 2012. The additional information will provide for enhanced resource modelling south of the wrench fault, inclusive of Uncle Harry’s and Phase 2 ground. In addition, this will increase the confidence levels with regard to in situ facies geometry, reef grades and tonnages. Results obtained to date are currently being incorporated into new resource estimation and design work, which will be included in the December declaration.

Various initiatives are underway in order to optimise the mine design in support of mechanisation and the continued production build-up. With the future production volumes on the Upper Elsburg Reef package remaining dependent upon de-stress mining rates, the de-stress is now designed as a horizontal cut, which will allow for quicker access to long hole stopes. The first long hole stopes, which will become a major component of production going forward, were successfully tested during the year.