JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has executed the mining rights for South African gold-miner Gold Fields’ South Deep gold mine.
Gold Fields, which on Wednesday reported a 13% increase in attributable gold output to 898 000 oz in the June quarter, noted that all its South African mines now had new order mining rights.
Production from the South African operations had increased by 23% quarter-on-quarter to 488 000 oz, with Gold Fields reporting that a significant improvement had been achieved at these mines.
Further, the gold miner, which is led by CEO Nick Holland, noted that the performance at its Tarkwa mine, in Ghana, had been particularly pleasing, with production up 16% quarter-on-quarter to 200 000 oz.
Gold Fields’ net earnings increased to R900-million in the June quarter, compared with R316-million in the quarter ended March 31.
This was also an improvement on the R293-million earnings loss recorded in the quarter ended June 2009.
Headline earnings increased to R1-billion in the quarter, compared with R292-million in the March quarter.
The company had also reduced its net debt to R4,7-billion, compared with the R6,1-billion reported in the March quarter.
Meanwhile, Gold Fields on Wednesday also provided more detail on plans to meet its 2014 black economic-empowerment (BEE) requirements, saying the DMR had approved the terms of three new BEE transactions.
Firstly, the miner would establish an employee share ownership plan (esop) to transfer a 10,75% stake in the holding company which controls its South African assets to employees.
The esop would be administered through the Thusano Share Trust and would result in an accounting cost to shareholders of about R1-billion.
In a second transaction, Gold Fields would issue about 600 000 shares, worth about R60-million, to a broad-based BEE consortium, the BEECO.
Lastly, the BEECO would also subscribe for a 10% stake in the South Deep mine with a phased in participation over 20 years.
“These deals are central to our commitment to make every current employee at the company an owner. At the same time, we are expanding opportunities for historically disadvantaged persons to benefit from the exploitation of the country’s mineral resources by promoting broad-based ownership, employment, and the advancement of social and economic welfare generally,” commented Holland.
Gold Fields planned to conclude the transactions by the end of this year.
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