A mine worker is seen underground in South Deep mine outside Johannesburg

South Africa's Gold Fields swings to first-half profit

By Tanisha Heiberg

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African bullion producer Gold Fields swung to a profit in the first half through June as output increased after the inclusion of its joint venture with Asanko Gold.

The company on Thursday reported a profit of $71 million compared with a loss of $367 million during the same period a year ago.

"We are pleased to report that after a two-year reinvestment period, Gold Fields turned net cashflow positive in H1 2019, earlier than originally anticipated, generating $49 million for the six month period," said Gold Fields Chief Executive Nick Holland.

However, the company's headline earnings per share fell to 5 cents per share from a year-ago 8 cents, weighed down by a $109 million hedging loss.

Gold Fields said it was targeting a "life of mine" of between eight and 10 years at its Asanko operations in Ghana, with gold production of between 225,000 ounces to 250,000 ounces per year.

"The intent for us now is to get a robust minimum 10 year life of mine, which makes good cash and at the same time to capitalise on the significant real estate potential," Holland told Reuters.

The company said it was processing an updated exploration strategy with its joint venture partners at Asanko, in which it has a 45% stake.

Bullion output for the six months increased by 9% to 1.083 million ounces compared with 994,000 ounces a year before.

The group, which maintained its production guidance for the year of between 2.13 million ounces and 2.18 million ounces, said it would pay an interim dividend of 60 cents per share, compared with 20 cents a year ago.

($1 = 15.3509 rand)

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Rashmi Aich and David Holmes)

2019-08-15 09:31:39

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