Business News of Friday, 25 January 2002

Source: Business Day (Johannesburg)

Gold Fields Expands in Accra

GOLD FIELDS' interests in Ghana grew yesterday with the completion of its A63,3m deal to buy Abosso Goldfields.

SA's second-largest gold producer now holds 71,1% in the mine with its partner, Canadian company Repadre, holding 18,9% and the Ghanaian government 10%.

Adding Damang's gold, Gold Fields' total reserves in Ghana have risen to defined reserves of 4,5- million ounces and 20-million ounces of resources.

Damang, which has resources of more than 3-million ounces and reserves of 1,53-million ounces, lies next to Gold Fields' existing operation in Ghana, the Tarkwa mine.

As part of the Damang deal, Gold Fields has secured more than 18km' of what is called the Tarkwaian Structure, which has similar geology to the areas now being mined at Tarkwa. Damang also has other prospects and Gold Fields hopes these areas will yield additional reserves. "I'd be very surprised if we couldn't extend the life of Damang," said Chris Thompson, Gold Fields' chairman and CE.

The completion of the Damang purchase means between 35% and 37% of Gold Fields' production now lies outside SA.

Last year the company successfully bid for Australian group WMC's Western Australian mines, extending its asset base outside Africa.

This was seen as positive by a number of analysts who believe some investors are reluctant to buy the shares of gold companies that hold the bulk of their assets in Africa. Gold Fields' Thompson said he did not accept that argument, but that it was the quality of the purchase that counted.