Gold Fields
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Certain forward-looking statements

This report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act) and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act) with respect to Gold Fields' financial condition, results of operations, business strategies, operating efficiencies, competitive position, growth opportunities for existing services, plans and objectives of management, markets for stock and other matters.

These forward-looking statements, including, among others, those relating to the future business prospects, revenues, income and production and operational guidance of Gold Fields, wherever they may occur in this report, are necessarily estimates reflecting the best judgement of the senior management of Gold Fields and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. As a consequence, these forward-looking statements should be considered in light of various important factors, including those set forth in this report. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in the forward-looking statements include, without limitation: Read more

Salient features

US$631 million*
cash inflow
US$868 million
mine cash flow
2.236 million
ounces of
attributable gold production
per ounce of
all-in cost
per ounce of
all-in sustaining costs

*After all capital expenditure, exploration and project expenses at Salares Norte.
**Revised interpretation guidance (World Gold Council).



As I write my final quarterly message as the CEO of Gold Fields (my 52nd report), I reflect on the most unusual year we have experienced. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we knew it, but we have adapted to what appears to be a new normal. Our teams around the world have done an incredible job of prioritising the health and safety of our employees.

Despite the challenges and disruptions experienced during the past 12 months, the integrity of our operations has been maintained while putting our people first. Overall, Gold Fields has delivered a strong set of results for 2020, with production and costs both within the revised guidance. The impact of COVID-19 on the operations was limited to less than 100koz (Cerro Corona and South Deep). Normalising the production for this, the Group would have exceeded the original guidance.

Some of the operational highlights for the year include:

  • Delivery at Damang – in line with previous guidance, Damang had a strong H2 2020 as it moved into the heart of the main orebody. Damang is expected to have a good couple years ahead as it delivers on the cutback.
  • Gruyere – The mine is starting to hit its targets and we expect a strong performance in 2021. The JV partners are now starting to think about long term potential beyond the current reserve life.
  • South Deep – The mine has shown continuous improvement through 2020 and the team now has a good handle on the operation and the different activities in the mining value chain. Had it not been for the COVID-19 disruptions, the mine would have exceeded its original production guidance. For 2021, we expect a strong increase in production (+27%) to 290koz. Looking ahead, we are reasonably confident that we can add another 20-30% over the coming years (3 – 4 years).
  • Salares Norte – Construction activities were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 and the project remained largely on schedule. Both mining and construction of the plant commenced in January 2021.
  • Tarkwa – Our exploration activities are starting to bear fruit, with exciting future prospects.

While 2021 is set to be another strong year for Gold Fields, we must be cautious of the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Many countries around the world are undergoing second waves of the virus and it is difficult to predict how long these will persist. However, there is much hope placed on the vaccines that are currently being rolled out. Over the coming weeks and months, we will develop strategies on how we can make these vaccines available to our people as soon as is practical. We are working with Governments, industry forums and advisors on the best solution for vaccine rollouts. We are starting to assess the impact on the business, operationally and on our people, of a more prolonged pandemic.

COVID-19 update

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge our lives and our business in many ways and is set to continue to do so in the coming months. The so-called second wave of COVID-19 infections, which started in late 2020, has taken a terrible toll at Gold Fields. As at 15 February 2021, nine of our employees or contractors have passed away as a result of their COVID-19 infections, eight of them at South Deep. In addition, one executive at Galiano Gold, our JV partners in the Asanko mine in Ghana, died after contracting the virus. These are tragic losses and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members, friends and colleagues of these men. So far we have had a total of 2,705 positive cases in the Group, of which 170 are currently active with 5 receiving care in hospitals.

The large number of positive cases reflects the high prevalence rate of the pandemic in neighbouring communities at our operations in Peru, Ghana and South Africa. The situation is exacerbated in South Africa by the high number of migrant workers from rural areas and neighbouring countries, where the virus often remains undetected. There have been no cases to date at our Australian mines.

Amid the so-called second wave of infections we have further strengthened our efforts to protect our workforce and assist our communities and governments in mitigating the impact of the pandemic. During 2020 our operations spent approximately US$30m on COVID-19 related initiatives and interventions such as specialised camp accommodation, testing equipment and facilities, additional labour costs and transport facilities. A further US$3m was spent on donations to assist governments and communities in their fight against the pandemic.

JOHANNESBURG. 18 February 2021: Gold Fields Limited (NYSE & JSE: GFI) announced normalised profit for year ended 31 December 2020 of US$879m (US$1.00 per share). This compared with normalised profit of US$343m (US$0.42 per share) for the year ended 31 December 2019.

A final dividend number 93 of 320 SA cents per share (gross) is payable on 15 March 2021, giving a total dividend for the year ended 31 December 2020 of 480 SA cents per share (gross).

An interim dividend of 160 SA cents per share (gross) is payable on 14 September 2020.


The table below provides an overview of the number of COVID-19 infections at our mines to date, as well as recovery rates and other data.

COVID-19 report (as at 17 August 2020) Total  
Tested 71,482  
Positive 2,705  
Negative 68,621  
Awaiting results* 156  
Active cases* 155  
Hospitalised* 5  
Recovered 2,541  
Died 9  

* Note: "Awaiting results", "Active cases" and "Hospitalised" refers to the current figures Numbers exclude Asanko/Galiano

2020 in review

Regrettably, we had one fatality during 2020 at our South Deep mine. Abel Magajane, a shaft timberman, died after an underground mining incident on 3 June 2020. In addition, the total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) for the Group regressed and the number of serious injuries increased in 2020. Our goal remains no fatalities or serious injuries and we have redoubled our safety efforts in the light of these setbacks. Gold Fields recorded no Level 3 – 5 environmental incidents for 2020, as was the case for 2019.

Attributable gold equivalent production for 2020 was 2,236koz, a 2% increase YoY (FY2019: 2,195koz), within the revised guidance range of 2,200-2,250koz. Original guidance of 2.275Moz – 2.315Moz was revised in May 2020 to account for the impact of COVID-19 on the operations, mainly South Deep and Cerro Corona.

AIC for 2020 was US$1,079/oz, marginally higher than 2019 (FY2019: US$1,064/oz) and within the revised guidance range of US$1,070/oz – US$1,090/oz. AISC for the year was US$977/oz (FY2019: US$897/oz), again within the revised guidance range of between US$960/oz and US$980/oz.

Headline earnings for 2020 increased more than fourfold to US$729m or US$0.83 per share (2019: US$163m or US$0.20 per share). Normalised earnings for the year more than doubled to US$879m or US$1.00 per share (2019: US$343m or US$0.42 per share).

In line with our dividend policy of paying out 25% to 35% of normalised earnings as dividends, we declared a final dividend of 320 SA cents per share. This takes the total dividend declared for the year to 480 SA cents per share (FY2019: 160 SA cents per share).

A combination of strong operational performance and an increase in the gold price drove a significant increase in cash flow from operating activities less net capital expenditure, environmental payments, lease payments and redemption of Asanko preference shares of US$631m from US$249m generated during 2019. Mine cash flow for the year, which excludes project capital, was US$868m, compared to US$552m in 2019.

During 2020, there was a significant decrease in the net debt, ending the year at US$1.069bn and a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.56x. This compares with a net debt balance of US$1.664bn and a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 1.29x at the end of December 2019. Excluding lease liabilities, the core net debt was US$640m at the end of FY2020.

Regional overview


Total production increased by 3% to 862koz in 2020 from 840koz in 2019, primarily driven by the continued build-up in production at Damang. As expected, Damang had a much improved H2 2020 as it moved into the heart of the main orebody. All-in costs increased by 2% to US$1,060/oz in 2020 from US$1,039/oz in 2019. The region produced net cash flow (excluding Asanko) of US$252m in 2020 compared to US$174m in 2019.


Gold Fields' Australian operations delivered another strong operational performance in 2020, once again surpassing the 1Moz annual production level. Gold production increased by 11% to 1,017koz from 914koz in 2019, with Gruyere contributing for the full year in 2020. All-in cost decreased by 2% to A$1,388/oz (US$957/oz) from A$1,418/oz (US$986/oz) in 2019. The Australia region generated net cash inflow of US$498m (A$723m) in 2020, a more than threefold increase from the US$139m in 2019.


Cerro Corona was the operation in the group that was most impacted by COVID-19 from a production perspective. Equivalent gold production decreased by 29% to 207.1koz from 292.7koz in 2019, mainly due to the COVID-19 related disruptions and the lower copper price. Consequently, total all-in costs per equivalent ounce increased by 38% to US$1,119 per equivalent ounce from US$810 per equivalent ounce in 2019. Despite the challenges, Cerro Corona generated net cash of US$84m, which is more or less the same as 2019.

South Africa

South Deep was the other operation that was materially impacted by COVID-19. Most of the impact was during H1 2020, with the mine recovering well in H2 2020. Gold production at South Deep increased by 2% to 7,056kg (226.9koz) from 6,907kg (222.1koz) in 2019, which was marginally ahead of revised guidance of 7,000kg. Total all-in cost increased by 13% to R663,635/kg (US$1,260/oz) from R585,482/kg (US$1,259/oz) in 2019, primarily due to the increase in sustaining capital during 2020 (as guided).

Encouragingly, South Deep generated net cash of US$34m (R558m) in 2020, more than double that generated in 2019.

Update on Salares Norte

Construction activities at Salares Norte were relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and the project remained largely on schedule. US$151m was spent on Salares Norte in 2020, including district exploration of US$30m, initial capex of US$97m and prepayments accounting for the majority of the balance. At the end of December 2020, engineering progress was 97.2% complete, ahead of the planned 90.0%.

At 31 December 2020, construction progress stood at 15.6% vs. plan of 9.9%, contributing towards total project progress of 27.0% coming in slightly ahead of plan of 24.4%. Camp Phase I construction was completed during Q3 2020 while Phase II construction was three months ahead of schedule at year-end. The mass earthworks contract was awarded at the end of May, with the contractor commencing activities on 21 September and completing the diversion channel earthworks and precast installation by year-end. The mining contractor completed mobilisation and began pioneering works on 1 October, as planned. Pre stripping of the pit and construction of the processing plant commenced during January 2021, in line with the project's construction schedule.

At the end of December 87% of the project Estimate at Completion (EAC) budget (excluding remaining contingency) had a fixed and firm price (excluding inflation factors) through contracts and purchase orders awarded, significantly reducing the risk of price differences.

Salares Norte controls 84,000ha of mineral rights in the Salares Norte district and has carried out extensive district-wide exploration within a 20km radius of the plant site. During 2020, a total of 17,504 district exploration metres were drilled, focusing on the Horizonte Project, while more work was also done on step-out potential at Agua Amarga North and Brecha West targets near the Salares Norte project.


During February 2021, Gold Fields increased its strategic shareholding in Canadian listed, Chakana Copper Corp. from 16.8% to 19.99% for C$2.9m (~US$2.3m) through its participating in a wider private placement equity capital raise by that company. Chakana Copper Corp. is currently advancing the prospective Soledad copper-gold-silver project located in the Ancash region of Peru. The proceeds of the raise will be used for the accelerated exploration and development of the high-grade project. Since restarting its 15,000m Phase 3 drill program on 15 August 2020, Chakana has announced three new discoveries at Paloma East, Paloma West, and at the Huancarama Breccia Complex where drilling is ongoing. We continue to see Peru as a prospective region given the paucity of exploration in the highly prospective Andean belt.

Regulus resources

Gold Fields optioned certain of its green fields exploration claims in the Cerro Corona mine district to Canadian listed, Regulus Resources Inc. during February 2021. The agreement grants Regulus the right to procure a 60% joint venture interest in Gold Fields' claims upon successful completion of US$3.5m exploration expenditure within a 3-year period, with Gold Fields retaining a 40% joint venture interest.

Gold Fields retains a discretionary right to subsequently increase its joint venture interest to a controlling 60% and reduce Regulus' position to 40% for a cash payment of US$7.5m and US$5m in exploration commitments over a further 5-year period. A successful claw back also grants Gold Fields the right to direct that any ore mined from the joint venture be processed at its nearby Cerro Corona facilities.

The arrangement allows Gold Fields the flexibility to maintain operational focus within the Cerro Corona mine footprint, whilst opening the exploration search space for additional ore sources in partnership with Regulus who will be exploring the properties as part of its pre-existing focus on its copper-gold Anatakori project immediately bordering our district exploration claims. Gold Fields will monitor earn-in exploration progress through its participation in a joint technical Advisory Committee and will assess its claw back in future as appropriate.

Mineral reserves and mineral resources

In 2020, the Group had another good year with regards to reserve and resource replacement. Some of the significant developments, include:

Group Resources increased 1% YoY, post depletion

  • South Deep resources increased 4% due to lower cut-off grades (COG) (NoW area 3.4 to 3.0g/t and SoW area 3.8 to 3.3g/t) and geology model updates.
  • Australia resources increased 5%, with Agnew and St Ives increasing by 26% and 13%,respectively.

Group Reserves increased 2% YoY, post depletion

  • Australia reserves increased 8% YoY, with Agnew and St Ives increasing 19% and 17%, respectively.
  • South Deep had a 6% increase due primarily to lower COG and updated mine design and schedule.
      Year ended
      Managed Attributable  
December 2020          
Gold equivalent resources Moz   149.1 116.0  
Gold equivalent reserves Moz   56.1 52.1  
December 2019          
Gold equivalent resources Moz   148.7 115.7  
Gold equivalent reserves Moz   55.2 51.3  

As at end-2020, 20.5Moz of Gold Fields' attributable gold equivalent Reserves (excluding Gold Fields' 45% interest in the Asanko Gold Mine) were outside South Africa, representing 39% of the Group's Reserve base.

Our 2020 Reserve and Resource declaration excludes our 45% in the Asanko JV but is included in the 2019 estimates.

Our JV partner, Galiano, has informed Gold Fields that an updated Mineral Resource and Reserve Estimate is expected to be released in H2 2021 for Asanko. The Mineral Resource and Reserve Estimate is expected to incorporate new exploration and infill drilling, updated modifying factors, and updated geological modelling. As a result, Gold Fields is not in a position to provide a reserve and resource estimate for Asanko as at 31 December 2020. Gold Fields has excluded reserve and resource estimates for Asanko at this time. Gold Fields does not believe that the reserves and resources attributable to Asanko are material to the reserves and resources of the Gold Fields group taken as a whole. Gold Fields will assess the work when it is completed by Galliano in order to determine whether in its view, an updated reserve and resource can be reported in H2 2021 or at the end of the year in accordance with its normal reporting cycle.

ESG priorities

In recent years, successful management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues has become a critical consideration for our stakeholders. These stakeholders, particularly investors, are increasingly expecting that the impact and management of ESG issues is disclosed transparently and fully aligned with the strategy of the business.

Our ESG priorities are associated with wide-ranging objectives and strategic intents outlined in the table below. These high-level priorities and goals will be incorporated in an ESG Charter with detailed 2025 targets to be released later this year.

Strategic Priorities     Objectives   Strategic Intents  
Partnering to ensure the safety, health and well-being of our workforce and alleviating such impacts on our communities     Elimination of fatalities, serious injuries, illnesses and mental harm that could arise from our mining activities   1. Eliminate fatalities.
2. Eliminate vehicular incidents by implementing advanced collision avoidance technologies.
3. Significantly reduce underground exposure to diesel particulate matter.
4. Minimise health and environmental impacts on our host communities.
Build a diverse and inclusive workplace     Increase the proportion of women and Indigenous people in our workforce   5. Increase the proportion of women in our workforce, including women in leadership and women in mining in all our operating regions.  
Unlocking business, community and stakeholder value     Maximise in-country and host community employment and procurement   6. Maximise Group host community employment.
7. Maximise Group host community procurement spend.
8. Maximise Group in-country procurement.
Pursuing decarbonisation and building resilience to climate change in line with our commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change     Reduce carbon emissions, freshwater use and exposure to climate-related risks to operations, stakeholders and the environment   9. Continue pursuing carbon emissions reductions at all our operations.
10. Increase Group renewable energy use and include at least 20% renewables in all new projects.
11. Introduce electric vehicles in our underground operations.
12. Reduce fresh water use and optimise Group water recycling and reuse levels.
Full compliance with the 2020 Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM)     Safe and responsible tailings management   13. Achieve and maintain compliance with the GISTM as committed to by ICMM members.  

Gold Fields again placed the top South African and fourth best mining company, among 75 surveyed, in the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), behind Teck, Newmont and Anglo American. Gold Fields has consistently achieved a Top 5 metals and mining ranking in the DJSI since it started participating in 2011.

Outlook and 2021 guidance

As previously guided, 2021 is going to be a big capital expenditure year for Gold Fields, given the peak spending at Salares Norte as well as the increase in sustainable capex for the Group. This increase in sustaining capex will enable us to spend on key projects that will allow us to sustain our production base of 2.00Moz to 2.50Moz for the next 8-10 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to continue to impact our lives and businesses in 2021, with many parts of the world experiencing second waves. The effective roll-out of the vaccine creates additional uncertainty.

For 2021, attributable gold equivalent production is expected to be between 2.30Moz and 2.35Moz. AISC is expected to be between US$1,020/oz and US$1,060/oz, with AIC expected to be US$1,310/oz to US$1,350/oz. If we exclude the very significant project capex at Salares Norte, AIC is expected to be US$1,090/oz to US$1,130/oz. The exchange rates used for our 2021 guidance are: R/US$15.50 and US$/A$0.75.

Total capex for the Group for the year is expected to be US$1.177bn. Sustaining capital is expected to be US$538m, with non-sustaining capex expected to be US$639m. The largest component of the capex budget for the year is Salares Norte, with the US$508m expected to be spent. We expect Salares Norte to be at 70% completion by the end of 2021.

The other increases are driven by specific projects at some of our core operations. These include the development of a second decline at the Wallaby Underground mine at Granny Smith (A$51m), plant modifications and increased development at Agnew to enhance the longer-term outlook (A$38m), and finally increased new mine development, tailings facility expansion and underground infrastructure expenditure at South Deep (US$22m).

Group production and costs have been flexed for inherent operating risks which relate to all or some of the mines. The risk of stoppages due to COVID-19 has not been factored into any guidance estimates in the group. The extent to which COVID-19 impacts on either production or costs is indeterminable at this stage.


As has been announced, Chris Griffith will be taking over from me as CEO on 1 April. I feel that I am leaving the business in a healthy position with a strong executive committee in place and an accomplished successor taking the reins.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board, the Executive team and all the people at Gold Fields for their dedication and commitment through all my years at the company. Each and every one of you has been an important part of the success of Gold Fields.

Yours in health and safety

Nick Holland
Chief Executive Officer
18 February 2021