Gold Fields CEO Asks for ‘More Time’ as Investors Get Antsy

© Reuters. Gold Fields CEO Asks for ‘More Time’ as Investors Get Antsy© Reuters. Gold Fields CEO Asks for ‘More Time’ as Investors Get Antsy

(Bloomberg) — Gold Fields Ltd. shareholders getting impatient over the company’s failure to stem losses at the huge South Deep deposit in South Africa shouldn’t lose hope, said Chief Executive Officer Nick Holland.

Gold Fields said in August it’s embarking on yet another turnaround plan at the operation, its only one left in South Africa. South Deep’s disappointing performance has been a drag on the company for years and management is aware that investors are getting fed up, Holland said in an interview.

“They are now very impatient, and one can understand it but I think we need to calmly look where we are and evaluate the best way forward,” he said. “There is a large resource base there, it’s well-drilled and we have spent a lot on infrastructure development costs. We are not far away, we just need more time.”

Read more: Gold Fields Forced Back to the Drawing Board on South Deep

South Deep is the world’s second-largest known body of gold-bearing ore but output targets have been repeatedly missed. The company has sunk more than 9 billion rand ($620 million) into the mine in addition to the 22 billion rand it paid to buy the asset in 2006.

The next milestone will be the announcement of a new plan in February and the company will probably need about 18 months after that to assess whether it’s working, Holland said.

To be sure, South Deep’s challenges aren’t unique in South Africa and other gold producers aren’t making money either thanks to persistently high costs, Holland said.

The country’s deep, aging mines and labor intensive mining methods keep pressure on expenses and South African gold production fell for a 10th consecutive month in July. The decline is being compounded by a shortage of investment in exploration, Holland said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Source: Investing.com