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Gold Fields is preparing to lay off up to 1,560 people at its loss-making South Deep mine, marking yet another attempt at restoring the operation, which has absorbed R32bn so far.  "It is envisaged that approximately 1,100 permanent employees could potentially be impacted by the proposed restructuring. In addition, approximately 460 contractors could also potentially be impacted," Gold Fields said. South Deep employs 3,614 full-time employees and 1,940 contractors. News of the job cuts sent the company's shares into freefall on Tuesday, with the stock plummeting 12% by midday on the JSE, wiping more than R4bn off its market capitalisation.

Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland ruled out a closure or sale of the mine, saying the board had given all options long deliberation and had decided the best value for shareholders would be from retaining South Deep and earning back the investment it had made in buying the mine for R22bn and then spending another R10bn in trying to ramp it up to s...

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