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South America Region

South America Region

Salient features

  • Gold equivalent Mineral Resource 8.1 Moz
  • Gold equivalent Mineral Reserve 5.5 Moz
  • Anchor point for growth within the Region

Cerro Corona Gold Mine

Gold Mineral Resource 4.2 Moz
Copper Mineral Resource 1,429 Mlb
Gold Mineral Reserve 2.8 Moz
Copper Mineral Reserve 988 Mlb

  • Mining and Plant reached steady design capacity
  • Construction of the second phase of the tailings storage facility is underway


The Cerro Corona copper-gold Mine, is located about 40 km north of the Yanacocha mine, and 80 km by road north of the departmental capital of Cajamarca in northern Peru. The deposit is hosted by a 600 700 m diameter sub-vertical cylindrical-shaped diorite porphyry emplaced in mid-Cretaceous limestone, marls and siliclastic rocks. Within the porphyry, copper-gold mineralisation is primarily associated with zones of stockwork quartz veining.

In January 2006, Gold Fields acquired 92% of the voting securities (80.7% of the economic interest) of what is now termed Gold Fields La Cima S.A. (GFLC), formerly known as Sociedad Minera La Cima S.A. GFLC holds Mining Concessions covering approximately 2,939 ha that encompass the deposit and adjoining areas. Gold Fields subsequently acquired all requisite additional permits to start a mine and construction commenced in May 2006. Ore processing started in August 2008 and full production was reached in December 2008.

Exploitation of the Cerro Corona goldcopper deposit is by open pit, with the ore being processed in a standard sulphide flotation plant with an annual capacity of 6.2 Mt. Mine life is currently projected to be 15 years. The metal is contained in a high quality, coppergold concentrate which is transported approximately 380 km to the Peruvian coast for shipment to copper smelters in Korea, Japan and Germany.

Annual overview

Production at Cerro Corona Mine reached steady state of approximately 500 ktpm in February 2009. Construction of the Tailings Storage Facility is progressing according to schedule. Abutments clean-up, restricted placement areas, and higher than expected precipitation are the main challenges to construction. Following the revision to the geotechnical model, the pit slope angles have been modified resulting in an increase in the waste stripping, which may exceed the current waste storage facility. The surplus tonnage would need to be accommodated at an alternative on mine site. Investigations into a potential expanded or supplementary tailings facility are in progress.

The South America Region gold only Mineral Resource, excluding gold equivalents, decreased by 10% to 4.2 (4.7) Moz and gold only Mineral Reserve decreased by 7% to 2.8 (3.0) Moz. Copper Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves are 1,429 (1,637) and 988 (1,061) Mlb respectively. The reduction is mainly due to changes in geotechnical parameters and operating cost. The total copper gold equivalent Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve ounces are 8.1 (9.0) and 5.5 (5.9) Moz, depleted by 0.4 and 0.4 Moz respectively.

The following points are noteworthy:

  • The Mineral Resources are constrained by the Sylvita concession to the northwest as well as the eastern property limits;
  • Independent Geotechnical & Tailings Review Board (IGTRB) support the original design capacity of 94.1 Mt to an elevation of 3,800 mRL subject to certain requirements and mitigations, in particular the Upstream Containment Blanket (UCB) and the Hualgayoc springs collection and pump back system;
  • Further metallurgical tests are required to be undertaken on the chalcocite buckets within the hypogene domain to determine if there is any influence on the recoveries; and
  • A possible supplementary TSF site is being investigated to provide flexibility and options for expansion or extension.

Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves1

    Mineral Resources       Mineral Reserves  
    30 June 2009   June-2008       30 June 2009   June-2008  
    Tons   Grade   Gold   Gold       Tons   Grade   Gold   Gold  
    (Mt)   (g/t)   (Moz)   (Moz)       (Mt)   (g/t)   (Moz)   (Moz)  
  PERU OPERATIONS                                    
  Cerro Corona                 Cerro Corona                  
  Measured 27.5   1.0   0.894   1.051   Proved   21.4   1.1   0.756   0.843  
  Indicated 116.7   0.8   2.940   3.336   Probable   66.6   0.9   2.017   2.145  
  Inferred 4.9   0.5   0.081   0.155                      
  Total 149.1   0.8   3.915   4.542   Total   88.1   1.0   2.773   2.988  
  Measured stockpiles 6.7   1.4   0.295   0.135   Proved stockpiles   1.2   1.2   0.049   0.029  
  Cerro Corona Total2 155.8   0.8   4.209   4.677   Cerro Corona Total3   89.3   1.0   2.822   3.017  
  Total South America Region 155.8   0.8   4.209   4.677   Total South America Region   89.3   1.0   2.822   3.017  
    Tons   Grade   Au-Eq   Au-Eq       Tons   Grade   Au-Eq   Au-Eq  
  Copper as gold equivalent (mt)   Cu (%)   (Moz)   (Moz)   Copper as gold equivalent   (mt)   Cu (%)   (Moz)   (Moz)  
  Cerro Corona (Cu-Au Eq)4         3.931   4.297   Cerro Corona (Cu-Au Eq)4           2.717   2.857  
  Total Cerro Corona (Au+Cu-Au Eq)         8.140   8.974               5.539   5.874  

1 Mineral Resource are inclusive of Mineral Reserves; Managed, unless otherwise stated.
2 Excludes copper Mineral Resources of 0.4 % Cu containing 1,429 Mlb copper (tons are however included). Copper open pit Mineral Resources comprise Measured of 26.7 Mt @ 0.5 % Cu for 305 Mlb, Indicated of 115.6 Mt @ 0.4 % Cu for 1,076 Mlb, Inferred of 4.8 Mt @ 0.3 % Cu for 35 Mlb, and Measured stockpiles of 1.2 Mt @ 0.5 % for 14 Mlb.
3 Excludes copper Mineral Reserves of 0.5 % Cu containing 988 Mlb copper (tons are however included). The copper Mineral Reserve classification tonnages are the same as for gold with open pit Proved copper Mineral Reserves of 0.6 % Cu for 266 Mlb, Probable of 0.5 % for 708 Mlb and Proved stockpiles of 0.5 % for 14 Mlb.
4 Copper equivalent ounces (copper revenue converted to gold equivalent ounces). Note that these tons are repeated in the gold statement.


Mineral Reserve sensitivities

The Mineral Reserve sensitivity remains constant due to the TSF tonnage constraint, therefore the tonnage does not change from -10% to +25% variance around the base price. Minor changes in equivalent ounces may occur as a result of change in cut-off grades.

The sensitivities are not based on detailed depletion schedules and should be considered on a relative and indicative basis only.

South America Region Mineral Reserve sensitivity

South America Region Mineral Reserve sensitivity

Blasthole and grade control drilling, Cerro Corona Mine, Peru
Blasthole and grade control drilling, Cerro Corona Mine, Peru