South Deep increases gold production as lockdown eases

South Deep Gold Mine was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown restrictions during Q2 2020, says Gold Fields, its parent company. The mine has slowly ramped up production as labour numbers returned to normal, while adherence to COVID-19 protocols has continued in order to manage the pandemic.  

Gold production increased by 63% to 2,019kg (64,900oz) in the September quarter from 1,238kg (39,800oz) in the June quarter due to an increase in volume mined. 

Underground reef grade mined decreased by 6% to 6.37g/t in the September quarter from 6.74g/t in the June quarter as a result of an increase in destress mining as well as mining lower grade stopes compared to Q2. The reduction in broken grade is in line with the mining sequence.

Reef yield increased by 5% to 6.07g/t in the September quarter from 5.80g/t in the June quarter. 

Development increased by 56% to 995m in the September quarter from 638m in the June quarter, while destress increased by 83% to 10,533m2 in the September quarter from 5,751m2 in the June quarter.

These increases are mainly as a result of production ramp-up post COVID-19 restrictions. Similarly, secondary support and backfill increased by 161% quarter-on-quarter and 122% quarter-on-quarter, respectively.

All-in cost decreased by 21% to R583,344/kg (US$1,075/oz) in the September quarter from R738,079/kg (US$1,231/oz) in the June quarter mainly driven by higher gold sold, partially offset by higher cost of sales before amortisation and depreciation and higher capital expenditure.

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