Gold Fields, Wits R6m boost for mechanised mining in South Africa








Johannesburg, 22 November 2017: Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) (JSE, NYSE: GFI) is pleased to announce a R6-million, three-year partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) to further the academic knowledge of mechanised mining and rock engineering in South Africa.


The partnership agreement with Wits University’s School of Mining Engineering and the Wits Mining Institute was signed by Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland and Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Adam Habib, today.


Gold Fields’ funding seeks to fill the gap of mechanised mining skills in South Africa, with the company managing the country’s largest and deepest underground mechanised gold mine, South Deep. The skills and expertise required to bring the mine, with an expected life of over 70 years, to full production are not in abundant supply in South Africa.


“With the Mining School’s long history of research-intensive higher education and the more recently launched Wits Mining Institute, with its focus on digital mining, it made for a natural partnership,” says Holland.


“Both Gold Fields and Wits University want to collaborate in developing young professionals with the knowledge and skills required to support mechanised, deep level gold mining. Through this we can undoubtedly assist the mining industry in general and play our part in bringing South Deep to full production,” adds Habib.


A number of projects have already been identified for funding by Gold Fields during the three-year period. They are:


  • Three postgraduate research projects linked to the Chair of Rock Engineering at the School
  • Two Geological Resource Modelling postgraduate research projects
  • Two postgraduate Drill and Blast improvement and other productivity-related research projects


Gold Fields’ funding will also be used to cover the costs of about four to six 3rd and 4th year student research works a year. The post-graduate and under-graduate research projects will be in subject areas that are critical to South Deep as it ramps up to full production in 2022.


As part of the partnership Gold Fields has been granted naming rights for the Genmin Laboratories building on the Wits Campus, which will now be known as the Gold Fields Laboratories building.


The partnership between Gold Fields and Wits University goes back many years. Most recently, in 2010, the company pledged R18 million on a three-year sponsorship deal comprising a number of investments in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at Wits University. The last of these funds were spent in 2015.


“Wits has for decades provided the skills needed to power South Africa’s mining industry. This latest sponsorship will ensure that they are in a position to do so for many more years to come,” says Holland.


Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Adam Habib


CEO of Gold Fields Limited Nick Holland


Addressing the event was Professor Cuthbert Musingwini, Head of School at Wits University’s School of Mining Engineering, who highlighted the value of collaboration between academia and the mining sector in forging South Africa’s path towards safer, mechanised and productive mining.


Cutting the ribbon at the renaming ceremony of the Gold Fields Research Laboratory were Wits University Vice-Chancellor and Principal Adam Habib (left) and Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland.


Signing the partnership agreement at the event were Wits University Vice-Chancellor and Principal Adam Habib (left) and Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland.





Avishkar Nagaser

Tel:  +27 11 562-9775

Mobile:  +27 82 312 8692

Email : [email protected]


Thomas Mengel

Tel:  +27 11 562 9849

Mobile:  +27 72 493 5170

Email:  [email protected]




Sven Lunsche

Tel:  +27 11 562-9763

Mobile:  +27 83 260 9279

Email :  [email protected]


Sally Braham

On behalf of the Wits School of Mining

Tel: +27 11 646-9322

Mobile: +27 83 461 2825

Email: [email protected]


About Gold Fields                

Gold Fields Limited is a globally diversified producer of gold with eight operating mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa with attributable annual gold-equivalent production of approximately 2.2 million ounces.  It has attributable gold Mineral Reserves of around 48 million ounces and gold Mineral Resources of around 101 million ounces. Attributable copper Mineral Reserves total 454 million pounds and Mineral Resources 5,813 million pounds. Gold Fields has a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Limited, with secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Swiss Exchange (SWX).

Sponsor: J.P. Morgan Equities South Africa (Pty) Ltd


About the Wits School of Mining Engineering:

The School is recognised as one of the world’s top mining engineering schools, with one of the most expansive programmes that includes researching deep level mining techniques, developing new methods to ensure the safety and wellbeing of miners, researching new technologies in mechanised mining systems and working to ensure the sustainability and future of the mining industry so that it is beneficial for all. The School also has one of the highest growth rates of any of the engineering schools or departments, having seen a consistent increase in students to its courses. In 2016 it marked a 120 years of excellence in service to mining.


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