Gold Fields pushes back production at Key Chilean mine again

28th December 2023 By: Bloomberg

Gold Fields cut its production outlook for 2024 after announcing a new delay at a major project in Chile.

The Johannesburg-listed company now expects to produce first gold at its Salares Norte mine in the Andes mountains in April, rather than by the end of this year, according to a statement Thursday. The firm had already pushed back the commencement date by several months.

Salares Norte – a $1-billion open-pit mine located at altitudes of up to 4 900 m – is key to Gold Fields’ ambition of raising total production to 2.8-million ounces by 2025 from about 2.3-million ounces currently.

Output from the Chilean project next year will be 220 000 oz to 250 000 oz due to the delay, down from earlier estimates of 350 000 oz to 500 000 oz, the statement said.

Guidance for 2025 and 2026 remains unchanged at 600 000 oz.

Gold Fields fell as much as 4.2% following the announcement. The stock is still up about 68% this year.

While mechanical construction at Salares Norte is almost complete, pre-commissioning and commissioning have “encountered difficulties", according to the statement.

Gold Fields will provide updated information on the cost of building the mine and of producing gold after an independent review, it said. The company has producing mines in South Africa, Peru, Ghana and Australia.