The difficulties at Gold Fields’ South Deep mine persisted into the first quarter of 2018, forcing a downward revision of the operation’s output for the year and lowering the group’s expected production. Gold Fields lowered its forecast for the year to between 2-million and 2.05-million ounces of gold, from between 2.08-million and 2.1-million ounces, because of the drop in gold expected to come from South Deep. Gold Fields has a large and growing international portfolio of gold mines and projects, but the South Deep project, which is ramping up to 480,000oz of gold in 2022, is often a focal point because of the ongoing difficulties the company has had in bringing to account the mine, in which it has invested heavily. In 2017 South Deep, a large, mechanised mine that has already absorbed more than R29bn, undershot its full-year production target and generated 281,000oz of gold instead of the expected 315,000oz because of a poor safety performance in the first quarter of that year. I...

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