Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is Gold Fields Ltd Mining Fools Gold?

Though Gold Fields (GFI-$16.28) has a diverse global growth pipeline, with four major projects in resource development, plans to grow annual production to 5 million ounces by 2015 are underpinned on expanding base load capacity in South Africa, home to its biggest and longer-lived mines. The KDC, Beatrix and South Deep complexes — average mine lives of 18, 13 and 42 years, compared with 5.5 years in Australia or 15 years in Peru — produced in the aggregate 446.6 million ounces of gold, or 51.2% of total processed output in the quarter ended June 30.

However, the richest of these shafts are aging, with some veins from KDC 50 to 75 years old! Ramping up production at these world-class mines requires the miners to dig deeper — more than two miles down in many places — to find more gold. Consequently, total notional costs (extraction, general and administrative and capital expenditures) are rising. Weighted-average total costs at the South African operations have increased to $1,401 per ounce, double the cost of two years ago.

Read More at 24/7 Wall Street….

Editor David J Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

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