Gold Fields has a target of achieving five million ounces per annum, either in production or in development, by the end of 2015. To this end we have developed an extensive pipeline of projects which are discussed below.


Far South East (FSE)

In the Philippines, exploration at the Far South East project (Gold Fields have an option to earn 60 per cent) is progressing well with eight underground diamond drill rigs operating and nearly 22,000 metres completed in 17 core holes. In addition, surface drilling also commenced during the quarter. Initial results of the proof-of-concept drilling confirmed the preliminary model based on historic drilling and identified the presence of significant mineralisation outside the model, both laterally and at depth. Drilling is in progress to further scope the system as well as complete a sufficient number of infill holes to support the first resource model to be delivered in March 2012.

In addition to the resource definition drilling, a comprehensive geotechnical programme is underway as well as studies on hydrogeology, mining methods and potential sites for tailings disposal and infrastructure. The community relations team has ramped up its activities in the district and initiated sustainable development programmes in partnership with the local communities.

Exploration expenditure of R26 million (US$4 million) and feasibility and evaluation costs of R17 million (US$3 million) in the June quarter compare with exploration expenditure of R17 million (US$2 million) and feasibility and evaluation costs of R27 million (US$4 million) in the March quarter.


Progress is being made towards completion of the feasibility study at the Chucapaca project in Peru (Gold Fields 51 per cent). Twelve drill rigs are on site working on infill and geotechnical drilling within the resource area. Results continue to be positive and an updated interim resource estimate is expected to be released in the last quarter of the year. The final model for the feasibility study is planned for mid-2012.

Sterilisation drilling and additional holes for metallurgical samples have commenced. A battery of metallurgical variability tests has been completed and an optimisation study is in progress. The results of this work will feed into the plant throughput and process design for the environmental impact assessment and the feasibility study. Baseline work for the environmental impact assessment is expected to be completed in the March 2012 quarter. As part of our formal agreements with the communities, a significant effort has been made to hire and train local employees as well as establish sustainable development programmes within communities impacted by the project.

Capitalised exploration expenditure for the June quarter amounted to US$18 million compared with US$12 million in the March quarter.

Arctic Platinum project (APP)

In April 2011 a decision was reached to conduct a pre-feasibility consolidation study (PFS) for the APP project in Finland (Gold Fields 100 per cent). The primary objective of the study is to review the previous feasibility study completed in 2005, update the mineral resource and mining profiles, incorporate the changed metallurgical and residue disposal requirements and to develop an updated capital and operating cost model for the project. The PFS is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

The pilot plant metallurgical test work which forms an integral part of the PFS is on schedule. The pilot plant flotation runs were completed in Finland on two 50 tonne samples from the Konttijarvi and Ahmavaara deposits and both concentrate samples have been transported to Canada for pilot plant hydrometallurgical recovery of gold, platinum, palladium, copper and nickel. Overall metal recoveries in the flotation concentrates appear to be satisfactory in relation to the prior benchscale test work. The pilot-scale hydrometallurgical campaign commenced in July 2011 and initial results are expected by September 2011.

A new mining licence application was filed in June for an area measuring 2,434 hectares which is contiguous with the Suhanko project. The new licence area, referred to as Suhanko II, covers the Vaaralampi and Tuumasuo PGE-Cu–Ni deposits. The process of completing the Environmental Impact Assessment for Suhanko II has been initiated.


At the Yanfolila project in southern Mali (Gold Fields 85 per cent), resource delineation drilling continued with four rigs on the Komana East, Komana West and Kabaya South deposits, in parallel with other elements of a scoping study which is on schedule for completion during the September 2011 quarter. Target definition work and initial drilling also continued on several other promising targets which are located within a 20 kilometre radius of Komana East.


In addition to the three resource development projects mentioned above, the greenfields exploration portfolio also consists of two advanced drilling projects, six initial drilling projects and nine target definition projects in Peru, Chile, Ghana, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, and Australia. Near mine exploration continued at St Ives, Agnew, Damang and Cerro Corona during the quarter.

Advanced drilling projects

In British Columbia, Canada, Gold Fields can earn up to a 70 per cent interest in the Woodjam project with joint venture partners Fjordland Exploration Inc. (TSX.V:“FEX”) and Cariboo Rose Resources (TSX.V:“CRB”). Resource delineation drilling continued during the quarter with two drill rigs on the Southeast Zone porphyry copper-goldmolybdenum target. The drilling programme is on schedule for completion during the September 2011 quarter and delivery of a SAMREC 2007 compliant mineral resource declaration on the Southeast Zone and a conceptual study by September 2011. Additional prospective third party concessions within the project area were optioned during the quarter and will be incorporated into the initial drilling plans to be carried out during the remainder of the year.

At the Talas project in Kyrgyzstan (Gold Fields 60 per cent), a new community engagement strategy has been implemented. Environmental monitoring and reclamation of disturbed areas is ongoing. There has been a notable improvement in community relations and the Central Government continues to be very supportive of the project. The exploration programme is expected to re-start in 2012.

Initial drilling projects

The East Lachlan joint ventures in New South Wales, Australia, comprise of two project areas (Wellington North and Cowal East) where Gold Fields has an 80 per cent interest and another two projects where Gold Fields is still earning into an 80 per cent interest with Clancy Exploration Ltd (ASX:”CLY”). Reverse circulation drilling completed at the MacGregors greenstone hosted orogenic gold prospect (Parkes East JV Project) intersected wide zones of near surface, low grade gold mineralisation confirming a large hydrothermal gold system from surface which is open along strike and at depth. Initial reverse circulation drilling was also undertaken at the Boxdale Prospect, Moorefield Project. Initial indications confirm the presence of a wide, near surface mineralised structure with encouraging gold and silver contents together with anomalous arsenic and antimony values. Full field air core drilling for porphyry copper-gold mineralisation at the Myall joint venture has been temporarily suspended due to cereal crop sowing and continuing wet weather.

On the Alectown tenements (Gold Fields 100 per cent) located within the East Lachlan project area, reverse circulation drilling on the Buryan targets confirmed the presence of low grade porphyry-style gold and copper mineralisation in a strongly altered diorite intrusion. Drilling also intersected a new carbonate base metal-gold epithermal target on the edge of the porphyry system identified above and returned low grade gold and copper mineralisation. The epithermal and porphyry mineralisation at Buryan remains open along strike and at depth.

Reverse circulation scout drilling was carried out at the Salares Norte property in Chile (Gold Fields has an option for 100 per cent) to test selected epithermal targets. Initial results are encouraging and a follow-up drilling programme is planned for the next field season. An option agreement was signed for the adjacent third party-owned Rio Baker concessions (Gold Fields option for 100 per cent) which will be incorporated into the exploration plan for the Salares Norte project area. At the nearby Pircas epithermal gold project in Chile (Gold Fields has an option for 100 per cent), the reverse circulation drilling programme was cut short by winter weather after only two holes were completed. This drilling programme is planned to continue in September 2011.

A 2,000 metre diamond drilling programme commenced in late June 2011 at the Toodoggone project in British Columbia, Canada where Gold Fields can earn up to 75 per cent in a joint venture with Cascadero Copper Corporation (TSX.V:“CCD”). The drill holes are testing the Mex porphyry copper-gold target which was not drilled by Gold Fields in the last exploration campaign completed in 2009.

At the Asheba project in Ghana (Gold Fields 90 per cent), interpretation of the initial drill results combined with old mine maps have delineated additional exploration targets along strike and the project warrants further work.

Near Mine exploration

St Ives

The main focus this quarter has been on resource development drilling in the Neptune and Victory prospective open pit expansion areas. In excess of 25,000 metres of reverse circulation and diamond drilling have been completed in the Neptune area and results continue to be positive. Interim model updates are in progress and will be combined in order to complete the global optimisation of the Greater Neptune- Greater Revenge project area.

Framework diamond drilling has been completed around the Victory complex. Prospective new mineralisation has been identified to the west of the current Leviathan pit which will require follow up. Additional mineralisation was also identified in the vicinity of the Britannia Footwall, Sirius and Paddy’s resources.

Target generation drilling was carried out at several other targets within the Junction – South Argo Trend and the South Foster area. Reserve conversion and extensional drilling is in progress at Athena, Hamlet and Cave rocks.


Recent drilling has identified three high grade ore-shoots at depth on the Waroonga Main Lode North: the Fitzroy, the Bengal and the Hastings shoots. The Fitzroy and Bengal shoots plunge steeply to the northwest and may intersect with the Porphyry Link Zone which was previously identified between the Main North and Kim Lodes. Results of the NAVI® drilling have been positive and resource delineation drilling will take place in these areas during the second half of 2011.

Encouraging assay results from two new holes into the Porphyry Link Zone suggest that the extensions to the shallow plunging, moderate grade mineralisation situated on the southern edge of the Kim South Lode extends to the south and may potentially join up with the high grade mineralisation in the Fitzroy and Bengal Shoots. Although the immediate focus at Waroonga is on confirming grade and continuity of the high grade shoots, this mineralised trend between Kim Lode and the Fitzroy Shoot requires follow-up which will be scheduled for the 2012 work programme.

Recent reconnaissance air core drilling was completed to the north of the Cinderella deposit. Two zones of shallow mineralisation were delineated, approximately 200 metres and 1 kilometre north of the potential Cinderella pit position respectively. A follow-up drilling programme is required.


Based on positive results of the recently completed Phase 1 proof of concept drilling programme at Greater Damang, a pre-feasibility study (PFS) commenced in July 2011. This includes the Phase 2 resource definition drilling programme of 43,000 metres, already underway. Drilling will be completed from the active pit floor in most cases and is designed to test the limits of potential mineralisation at depth. Assay results have been broadly consistent with expectation and continue to define both continuity of the system to depth and presence of regular higher grade pods which drive the economics of this deposit.

Cerro Corona

Initial assay results of the recently completed Phase 2 infill and extensional drilling programme appear to generally confirm the existing resource model, with local areas of either higher or lower grade than modelled. The data will be used to develop a revised litho-structuralalteration model and resource update to better define the Life of Mine reserves.

Exploration framework drilling commenced in June on the adjacent Sylvita project. Of the five holes completed, three have successfully intersected altered porphyry and two intersected limestone with narrower dykes intruding the sequence. Skarn and sulphide manto mineralisation has been observed in the limestone close to dykes and the porphyry, with some indications of localised strong copper mineralisation.

The Oxide Stockpile Drilling project was completed in June 2011. Assays received confirmed the estimated grade of the stockpile, as well as distribution and very low levels of soluble copper within the stockpile stack. Full analysis and modelling of the stockpiles was completed in July 2011.

Business development

An option agreement was signed with a private owner in May 2011 which allows Gold Fields the right to acquire 100 per cent of the Mandiana project in Guinea for a schedule of modest option payments over three years. Field work will focus on the delineation and testing of initial drilling targets within the first year.

An option agreement was signed in June 2011 which allows Gold Fields the right to acquire the third party Robson claim within the Eldorado project area in British Columbia, Canada. Terms include modest work commitments over four years and a royalty which can be purchased.