Regional overview: Australasia

3.4.1 Introduction

Our operational activities in Western Australia are centred on the St Ives and Agnew Gold Mines, both of which have highly prospective opportunities for reserve growth and life extension. Gold Fields also has an extensive portfolio of greenfields exploration in the Region, including the East Lachlan joint venture projects in New South Wales and the Batangas joint venture projects in the Philippines.

During C2010, we signed an US$340 million option agreement for a 60% option on the Far South East (FSE) project in the Philippines. The FSE project, which is located in northern Luzon Island, sits on one of the world’s richest gold-copper porphyry bodies. During C2011, we plan to complete an extensive drilling programme to confirm the high-grade zone and commence a feasibility study (p120)

Both St Ives and Agnew retained their OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certification after undergoing independent external compliance audits during F2010. Both mines are fully compliant with the International Cyanide Management Code.

Performance in C2010

Overall, continued stabilisation of mining operations in C2010 has provided a solid platform for consistent gold production. St Ives performed particularly strongly, at an annualised run rate of approximately 500,000 ounces in the six months to 31 December 2010.

We have completed the transition to owner mining at Agnew, and will investigate opportunities elsewhere in our operations in C2011.

Both mines have active near-mine exploration programmes. Since June 2010, the Region’s Mineral Reserves increased by 18% to 4.14 million ounces. In part, this was due to ongoing delineation of the Argo- Athena camp at St Ives, as well as deep directional drilling at Agnew.

Long-term maintenance of the strong NCE margin for the region will be a major continuing focus for C2011.

1 See p76 for explanation of methodological changes that have contributed to an increase in LTIFR in the Australasia Region

Outlook for 2011

The Regional target of 1 million ounces in the next five years remains our core growth objective. In C2011, we plan to achieve safe production targets, and implement our major capital projects while maintaining our targeted NCE margin. Specific planned actions include:

  • Continuation of the Business Process Re-engineering at St Ives and Agnew
  • Bringing our Athena development at St Ives to full production and the Songvang open pit at Agnew into production
  • Ongoing construction of the Hamlet deposit at St Ives
  • Stabilising production at Agnew
  • Continued exploration for reserve growth at Agnew and St Ives

Continuity of energy supply is a major challenge for mining operations in Western Australia. The regional gas market is highly dependent on a small number of suppliers and critical energy infrastructure is relatively closed-off from the rest of the country. The map (right), prepared by Maplecroft, highlights the proximity of our mines to critical energy infrastructure in Western Australia.