JOHANNESBURG, August 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Further to our statement on 26 July 2012, Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) (JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI) is pleased to announce that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana on 9 August 2012 lifted the temporary suspension on Tarkwa Gold Mine's (Tarkwa) heap leach facilities.
Tarkwa reopened both the North and South Heap Leach facilities on the evening of 9 August 2012 after they were closed on 16 July 2012 to comply with an EPA directive that water discharges should be passed through a water treatment plant to reduce conductivity levels (a measure of the amount of dissolved salts in discharged water).
Although Gold Fields believes that Tarkwa was complying with the prescribed conductivity levels in its water discharges, it has nonetheless commissioned the construction of two water treatment plants at the heap leach facilities. This is in pursuit of environmental best practice and in compliance with the directive. The plants are expected to be operational before the end of 2012.
In the meantime, as agreed with the Ghana Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology and the EPA, Tarkwa will continue to dilute and discharge excess water in a controlled manner while the plants are being built. Tarkwa will also submit monthly progress reports on the construction of the plants to the EPA.
The estimated impact on gold production as a result of the temporary closure is around 15,000 ounces, which is less than 10% of the mine's quarterly production. Tarkwa's Carbon-in-Leach plant, which produces about 75% of the gold at the mine, was not affected.
Notes to editors
About Gold Fields
Gold Fields is one of the world's largest unhedged producers of gold with attributable annualised production of 3.5 million gold equivalent ounces from eight operating mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa. Gold Fields also has an extensive and diverse global growth pipeline with four major projects in resource development and feasibility, with construction decisions expected in the next 18 to 24 months. Gold Fields has total attributable gold equivalent Mineral Reserves of 80.6 million ounces and Mineral Resources of 217 million ounces. Gold Fields is listed on the JSE Limited (primary listing), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ Dubai Limited, Euronext in Brussels (NYX) and the Swiss Exchange (SWX).
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SOURCE Gold Fields Limited