US regulator drops probe on Gold Fields’ South Deep BEE deal

US regulator drops probe on Gold Fields’ South Deep BEE deal

Gold Fields chief executive officer Nick Holland. (Screenshot via YouTube)

South African miner Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI) (JSE:GFI) said Monday the foreign anti-corruption unit of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided not to take any further action against the company, following a probe into a $210 million black empowerment deal (BEE) back in 2010.

The miner has also been the target of investigations from other U.S. watchdogs over a mining licence granted the company for its South Deep mine, the world’s largest gold deposit after Grasberg in Indonesia.

In August 2010, Gold Fields gave a 9% of South Deep to a group of black investors in order to meet government’s regulations aimed to boost black ownership in the post-apartheid country.

The gold producer has long argued it did no wrong and that, in the words of chief executive officer Nick Holland, it was a "great deal".

The company added that the SEC’s notice received today "… must in no way be construed as indicating that the party has been exonerated or that no action may ultimately result from the staff's investigation”.