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End-to-end mechanisation edging South Deep forward – Gold Fields - Mining Weekly

Thursday, 22 September 2016

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Deep, Gold Fields’ fully mechanised deep-level gold mine, has reached the point of honouring its full mining value chain with on-the-go ground support, simultaneous backfilling of the voids created, an extension of mechanising to hanging wall and side wall drilling, and mesh support installation right up to the face.

Under the new high-profile mining method, this year’s production guidance from the mine, situated 45 km south-west of Johannesburg, has been upped to 289 000 oz.

Heavy investment in fleet has resulted in half of the 114 category-one drill rigs, loaders and trucks being no older than 15 months and put to work within the new 5 m x 5 m cut as end-to-end production enhancers.

“We're now back to the levels we were in 2013, but the difference between now and 2013 is that we're honouring the full mining value chain. We're making sure that we're doing our ground support as we mine. We're making sure that we're backfilling the voids once we've mined them, because if you don't do all of these things consistently, then you won't be able to continue to ramp up production,” Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland told this week's Denver Gold Forum in the US.

In the presentation document sent to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online, Holland outlined how South Deep had managed to get ahead of its business plan for the first time in eight years.

“If you went back a year or two, people didn't want to come and work at South Deep. They didn't feel it was a mine that had a future. But today, we're attracting the best in the industry,” Holland told the Denver Gold Forum. South Deep, through increased production and a higher rand gold price, has managed to achieve a cash positive position, which Holland describes as a symbolically important step forward.

“We believe we're going to kick on from here,” he added.

An update of the long-term production and cost outlook will be given at an investor day on February 17, which will include an underground visit.

Quarterly backfill production needs to improve from the 100 000 m3 to 150 000 m3 “so there’s still a lot of work ahead of us”.

In Australia, where Gold Fields is already producing 920 000 oz of gold a year, the company has set up what it describes as “our most aggressive brownfields exploration programme ever”, with drilling taking place across 600 km at a cost of $92-million.

Darlot, a mine that was dying when Gold Fields acquired it for free three years ago, is making money and Granny Smith surprising on the upside.

In Chile, Gold Fields has the Salares Norte drill-out project that is indicating a three-million-ounce gold resource at 4 g/t plus 50 g/t silver.

End-to-end mechanisation edging South Deep forward – Gold Fields - Mining Weekly

Thursday, 22 September 2016

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Deep, Gold Fields’ fully mechanised deep-level gold mine, has reached the point of honouring its full mining value chain with on-the-go ground support, simultaneous backfilling of the voids created, an extension of mechanising to hanging wall and side wall drilling, and mesh support installation right up to the face.

Under the new high-profile mining method, this year’s production guidance from the mine, situated 45 km south-west of Johannesburg, has been upped to 289 000 oz.

Heavy investment in fleet has resulted in half of the 114 category-one drill rigs, loaders and trucks being no older than 15 months and put to work within the new 5 m x 5 m cut as end-to-end production enhancers.

“We're now back to the levels we were in 2013, but the difference between now and 2013 is that we're honouring the full mining value chain. We're making sure that we're doing our ground support as we mine. We're making sure that we're backfilling the voids once we've mined them, because if you don't do all of these things consistently, then you won't be able to continue to ramp up production,” Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland told this week's Denver Gold Forum in the US.

In the presentation document sent to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online, Holland outlined how South Deep had managed to get ahead of its business plan for the first time in eight years.

“If you went back a year or two, people didn't want to come and work at South Deep. They didn't feel it was a mine that had a future. But today, we're attracting the best in the industry,” Holland told the Denver Gold Forum. South Deep, through increased production and a higher rand gold price, has managed to achieve a cash positive position, which Holland describes as a symbolically important step forward.

“We believe we're going to kick on from here,” he added.

An update of the long-term production and cost outlook will be given at an investor day on February 17, which will include an underground visit.

Quarterly backfill production needs to improve from the 100 000 m3 to 150 000 m3 “so there’s still a lot of work ahead of us”.

In Australia, where Gold Fields is already producing 920 000 oz of gold a year, the company has set up what it describes as “our most aggressive brownfields exploration programme ever”, with drilling taking place across 600 km at a cost of $92-million.

Darlot, a mine that was dying when Gold Fields acquired it for free three years ago, is making money and Granny Smith surprising on the upside.

In Chile, Gold Fields has the Salares Norte drill-out project that is indicating a three-million-ounce gold resource at 4 g/t plus 50 g/t silver.


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