Gold Fields publishes quarterly results
South African mining company Gold Fields, which aims to be the global leader in sustainable gold mining, has published its operational results for the first quarter of 2016.
Gold Fields produced 515,000 ounces of gold in Q1, and this represents a 3 percent increase from Q1 in 2015, but a 9 percent drop from the 566,000 ounces produced in the December quarter. March is usually a seasonally weak quarter for the company, due to mines restarting after Christmas.
CEO Nick Holland said: "Encouragingly, all eight operations exceeded their planned production for the quarter."
Holland referred to South Africa's new Mining Charter, and stated: "Although the mining industry was not consulted prior to its publication, Gold Fields will engage with the Department of Mineral Resources, through the Chamber of Mines and appropriate structures, during the consultation period which ends on the 31st of May."
South Deep’s 64,000oz production was 75 percent higher than the matching quarter last year, and "only 7 percent" lower than the December quarter.
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) were 16 percent lower YoY (3 percent higher QoQ) at $961/oz and all-in costs (AIC) were 15 percent lower YoY (5 percent higher QoQ) at $986/oz. Managed production in Ghana was 181,000 ounces, up 4 percent year on year but down 3 percent quarter on quarter. According to Holland, a key highlight of the quarter was the conclusion of a development agreement with Ghana’s government.
This included a lower corporate tax rate for Gold Fields of 32.5 percent, which used to stand at 35 percent. It also includes a change in the royalty rate from a flat 5 percent of revenue to a sliding-scale royalty based on the gold price.
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.