Q3 a 'period of recovery' for Gold Fields

GOLD Fields has reported September quarter production of 557,000 ounces of gold at all-in costs of US$1070 an ounce.
Q3 a 'period of recovery' for Gold Fields Q3 a 'period of recovery' for Gold Fields Q3 a 'period of recovery' for Gold Fields Q3 a 'period of recovery' for Gold Fields Q3 a 'period of recovery' for Gold Fields

Gold Fields' Agnew mine in Western Australia

Staff reporter

The production figure was up 1% quarter-on-quarter and 7% year-on-year, while AIC was flat.

The company's mines in Western Australia contributed 250,000oz at AIC of A$1363/oz, while operations in Ghana produced 211,000oz at US$1068/oz.

South Deep in South Africa recovered after being interrupted by COVID-19, producing 65,000oz at $1075/oz.

Gold Fields has had 1745 cases of COVID-19 across its workforce and three deaths. It has 26 active cases.

CEO Nick Holland said the company remained in a strong financial position, with net debt reducing to $1.15 billion from $1.23 billion.

"This implies a net debt to EBITDA of 0.68x, compared to 0.84x at end June 2020," he said.

Guidance for 2020 was maintained at 2.2-2.5 million ounces of gold at AIC of $1070-1090/oz.

"Potential further COVID-19 related disruptions increases the risk to group production and cost guidance," Holland said.

"We have maintained the view that the appropriate level of sustaining capital expenditure for our business is US$250-300/oz.

"In recent years, we have spent at the lower end of this range due to high project capital expenditure. However, our most recent business planning process shows that for next year, we will be required to spend closer to the upper end of the range.

"This will enable us to spend on key projects that will allow us to sustain our production base for the next 8-10 years.

"Specifically in Australia, to ensure that we maintain the 1Moz production base, we will need to spend additional capital to extend the mine life at Agnew; develop a second decline at Wallaby at Granny Smith; and continue to invest in the ever-growing Invincible complex at St Ives."

While the Q3 results were in line with RBC Capital Markets' expectations, analyst Tyler Broda highlighted the higher sustaining capex.

"At the top end, this would imply $675 million versus RBCe $556 million," he said.

"This follows a general trend through the operational updates across our coverage in Q3 of current higher cash flows allowing for higher capex spending.

"Despite the modestly higher capital spend, Gold Fields remains well positioned with modest growth expected in 2021 and following the recent pullback is trading at 1.37x NAV and 4.4x 2021 EV/EBITDA."

RBC maintained a sector perform rating for Gold Fields and price target of $15.25. Gold Fields ADRs closed at $10.44 overnight, valuing the company at $9.2 billion.