Gold Fields' Aussie costs rise

GOLD Fields has reported a “solid” operational start to 2020, but has slightly lowered full-year guidance.
Gold Fields' Aussie costs rise Gold Fields' Aussie costs rise Gold Fields' Aussie costs rise Gold Fields' Aussie costs rise Gold Fields' Aussie costs rise

Gold Fields' Agnew plant in Western Australia

Staff reporter

March quarter group attributable gold equivalent production was 537,000 ounces at all-in costs of US$1060 an ounce.

Excluding expenditure on the Salares Norte development in Chile, AIC were $1019/oz.

The company's four Western Australian operations produced 237,000oz of gold at AIC of A$1390/oz and all-in sustaining costs of $1316/oz.

That compares to December quarter production of 269,600oz at AIC of $1269/oz and AISC of $1131/oz.

Gold Fields reported lower production across all four WA mines.

St Ives and Agnew output was lower due to lower grades, while at Agnew, tonnes processed also dropped.

Granny Smith production was 6% lower due to a decrease in tonnes processed.

At the new 50%-owned Gruyere joint venture with Gold Road Resources, production dropped 15% to 59,600oz as plant availability sat below the definitive feasibility study target.

Gold Fields' Ghana operations produced 194,000oz, including its 45%-owned Asanko JV, at AIC of US$1130/oz and AISC of $1105/oz.

Cerro Corona in Peru produced 62,000oz of gold equivalent at AIC of $837/oz and AISC of $714/oz, while South Deep in South Africa produced 61,000oz at AISC of $1236/oz and AISC of $1277/oz.

The company said the troubled South Deep operation continued to perform ahead of expectations and was generating meaningful cashflow.

While all regions are tracking in line with annual guidance, Gold Fields made a slight adjustment to its full-year target due to the likely impacts of COVID-19 on South Deep and Cerro Corona.

Full-year guidance is now 2.2-2.25 million ounces of gold, down slightly from 2.275-2.315Moz, while cost guidance remains at $920-940/oz for AISC and $1035-1055/oz for AIC.

Gold Fields said its financial position remained strong, with net debt dropping to $1.26 billion from $1.66 billion in December.

"This implies a net debt to EBITDA of 0.94x, compared to 1.29x at end December 2019," the company said.

At the end of March, Gold Fields had about $800 million in cash on hand and over $1.5 billion of committed, unutilised debt facilities.

This month the company entered into two new R500 million revolving credit facilities, replacing two facilities expiring in May.

"Overall, Gold Fields is in a comfortable position to repay circa US$685 million debt maturing in H2/20 as well as manage any ongoing COVID-19 related uncertainty," BMO Capital Markets analyst Raj Ray said.

BMO has an outperform rating and $7.28 price target for Gold Fields.

Shares in the miner jumped 9.6% in New York overnight to $7.98.