SANDTON, RSA – Nick Holland, Gold Fields’ Chief Executive Officer, in “Operational update for the quarter ended 30 September 2020”, says Q3 2020 was a period of recovery for Gold Fields operations that were most severely disrupted by COVID-19, namely South Deep and Cerro Corona. The business in general performed well during the quarter and continues to settle into the ‘new’ normal created by COVID-19.
Attributable gold equivalent production for Q3 2020 was 557koz, up 7% YoY (up 1% QoQ). All-in costs (AIC) decreased by 1% YoY (flat QoQ) to US$1,070/oz, while all-in sustaining costs (AISC) increased 2% YoY (and decreased 3% QoQ) to US$964/oz.
“The Australian region produced 250koz at AIC of A$1,363/oz (US$984/oz) and AISC of A$1,288/oz (US$931/oz). Our mines in Ghana produced 211koz (including 45% of Asanko) at AIC of US$1,068/oz and AISC of US$1,030/oz. Cerro Corona in Peru produced 51koz (gold equivalent) at AIC of US$1,146 per gold equivalent ounce and AISC of US$953 per gold equivalent ounce,” said Holland.
South Deep had a strong recovery after a disrupted Q2 2020, producing 65koz at an AIC of R583,344/kg (US$1,075/oz) and AISC of R572,447/kg (US$1,055/oz). The mine is generating meaningful cashflow at current prices.
As at 9 November 2020, the number of active cases among Gold Fields’ workforce was only 26 with none in hospital. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, Gold Fields has conducted more than 41,000 tests among its workforce, of which 1,745 were positive.
Gold Fields remains in a strong financial position. During Q3 2020, there was a further decrease in the net debt balance (including leases) to US$1,159m at 30 September 2020 from US$1,239m at 30 June 2020, after taking into account the interim dividend payment of US$85m. This implies a net debt to EBITDA of 0.68x, compared to 0.84x at end June 2020.
The net debt balance (excluding leases) decreased to US$796m from US$876m at the end of June 2020.
OUTLOOK AND GUIDANCE
FY 2020 production and cost guidance remains unchanged from the update in August 2020. Attributable equivalent gold production for 2020 for the Group is expected to be between 2.200Moz and 2.250Moz (original guidance: 2.275Moz – 2.315Moz).
AISC is expected to be between US$960/oz and US$980/oz (original guidance: US$920/oz – US$940/oz) and AIC is expected to be between US$1,070/oz and US$1,090/oz (original guidance: US$1,035/oz – US$1,055/oz).