Gold Fields sees lower 2023 production on Chile project delays Reuters via

Gold Fields sees lower 2023 production on Chile project delays By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A mine worker walks underground as South Africa’s Gold Fields bets on solar to cut costs and carbon, at Gold Fields’ South Deep mine, south-west of Johannesburg, South Africa October 12, 2022. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko


(Reuters) -South Africa’s Gold Fields (NYSE:) said on Thursday it expected lower gold production in 2023 due to a further three-month delay at its Salares Notre project in Chile.

Salares Notre, whose initial target to produce its first ore in the first quarter of 2023 was earlier moved to the second quarter, now expects to come online in the final three months of the year.

Gold Fields said COVID-19 and severe weather were causing the delays at the project, which is expected to produce at least 450,000 ounces of gold per annum in the first seven years of operations.

“In addition to these challenges, ongoing skills shortages faced by the main contractor at Salares Norte have resulted in further delays, with first gold now expected to be achieved in Q4 2023,” the miner said in a statement.

The company’s gold production is now expected to be within the 2.25 million ounce to 2.3 million ounce range this year, down from 2.4 million ounces in 2022.

Gold Fields said it would continue to explore opportunities to expand production through acquisitions of both greenfield projects and producing assets, despite its failed bid to buy Canada’s Yamana Gold (NYSE:) late last year.

A $202 million break fee payment from the failed bid drove Gold Fields’ headline annual profit 19% higher, offsetting cost pressures.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) – the profit measure commonly used in South Africa – came in at $1.19 for the year ended December 2022, compared with $1.00 in the previous year.

The miner, which has operations in South Africa, Australia, Ghana, Peru and Chile, recorded a 3% rise in gold output last year, topping its revised guidance of 2.31 million to 2.36 million ounces.

Gold Fields declared a final dividend of 4.45 rand ($0.2443) per share, bringing the total payout for 2022 to 7.45 rand.

($1 = 18.2117 rand)

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