South Deep is the most important value driver in the Gold Fields portfolio, CEO Nick Holland said in the company’s results for the March 2014 quarter. As a result, the company has “fundamentally changed the way we manage and execute the South Deep project.”

This involved the implementation of a comprehensive transformation process aimed at addressing the shortcomings identified during the recent review.

It also focused on de-risking the momentum and sustainability of the new build-up plan, as well as positioning South Deep to achieve cash break-even by late 2014 or early 2015, assuming prevailing rand gold prices.

Mechanised mining specialists from Australia

Central to the transformation process is the introduction of a team of mechanised mining specialists from Australia. “This will assist South Deep to transform itself into a world-class mechanised mine,” said Holland.

“Despite the uncertainty which inevitably accompanies any transformation process, South Deep employees and their representative organisations have largely embraced the change and, while much remains to be done, the early signs are encouraging.

“We have a critical understanding of this project’s value proposition; a sense of urgency for the execution and delivery of the project; and are resolute and confident in our commitment to make it work within the new timeframe published on 13 February 2014,” said Holland.

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