South Africa’s Gold Fields output hurt by strikes

Gold Fields (NYSE, JSE:GFI), the world’s fourth-largest bullion producer, warned Monday it would report lower production figures for the October-December quarter, mainly due to the strikes that hit its South African operations last year.

Attributable production for the fourth quarter is forecast at 753,000 gold equivalent ounces, down from 811,000 ounces in the previous three months and 883,000 ounces in the same quarter last year.

The miner’s international operations contributed 471,000 ounces, while its South African mines only produced about 282,000 ounces.

"The lower production (in South Africa) was largely the result of approximately 110,000 ounces lost during the quarter due to the on-going impact of the prolonged and unprotected strikes at KDC and Beatrix (mines)," Gold Fields said in a statement.

In total, including the third quarter, 145,000 ounces are estimated to have been lost due to the strikes, it said.

South Africa’s gold and platinum miners faced lengthy illegal strikes that resulted in over 50 people being killed.

Gold Fields’ full results for the 2012 fourth quarter would be released on February 14.

(Image by the National Library of Scotland)

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