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Gold Fields is a significant unhedged producer of gold with attributable annualised production of approximately 2.0 million gold equivalent ounces from six operating mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa. Gold Fields also has an extensive and diverse global growth pipeline with four major projects at resource development or feasibility level. Gold Fields has total managed gold-equivalent Mineral Reserves of 64 million ounces and Mineral Resources of 155 million ounces. Gold Fields is listed on the JSE Limited (primary listing), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ Dubai Limited, Euronext in Brussels (NYX) and the Swiss Exchange (SWX). In February 2013, Gold Fields unbundled its KDC and Beatrix mines in South Africa into an independent and separately listed company, Sibanye Gold



Safe Production Management

Safety remains Gold Fields single most important sustainability issue. This is embodied through our promise that “if we cannot mine safely, we will not mine”. However, we deeply regret that during C2010 there were a total of 18 workplace fatalities at Gold Fields, of which 17 occurred at our South African operations. Although this marks a reduction on C2009 (26 fatalities), every fatality is one too many. We remain fully committed to the ultimate elimination of all incidents and the achievement of ‘Zero Harm’ at our operations.

This prioritisation of safety over production means that in the shortterm, we will choose to leave gold in the ground rather than put our employees at risk. In C2010, for example, it is estimated that we did not mine a total of 2,321 kg of gold in support of this commitment. Whatever the short-term costs of this approach are, we are confident that the long-term moral, reputational and operational benefits are far higher.

This commitment has acted as the bedrock for a comprehensive evolution of our company culture. Instead of accepting the risks involved in gold mining as ‘inherent’, our employees and managers are becoming increasingly conscious that with the right approach and mentality, it can be rendered safe. This realisation is further supported by our constant communication of our ‘Stop, Think, Fix, Verify and Continue’ message, which can be applied by any employee in any situation. It is in this context that our goal of Zero Harm becomes more than an empty aspiration and instead becomes an achievable goal.

What progress we have made during C2010, appears to be partly due to our increased focus on the management of seismicity – including centralised blasting and preconditioning. In addition, we have placed further emphasis on the proactive maintenance of infrastructure, as well as the ‘engineering out’ of risk and increased underground mechanisation.


Click to expand/collapse the table Safety performance in 20101
 
  Group safety performance
  Energy consumption C2010   C2009   C2008  
  Fatalities 18   5,239   5,224  
  Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate1 4.38   3.81   5.34  
  Fatal Injury Frequency Rate 0.11   0.14   0.16  
  Medically-Treated Injury Frequency Rate 7.09   9.32   13.50  

1 Due to prevailing legislative requirements in Australia and West Africa, restricted work cases are excluded from the Lost Time Injury statistics but are included within
the Medically Treated Injury Statistics. Restricted work cases are cases where an employee cannot resume his or her normal duties but may resume work on light duty

“If we cannot mine safely, we will not mine”

Gold Fields Safety Value

 

Click to expand/collapse the table Managing safety
 

In C2010, we continued to build on significant improvements in safety performance in the South Africa Region. This includes, for example, a focus on three broad areas of safety management:

  • Compliance with standards and procedures
  • Engineering out safety risks
  • Addressing ‘societal risks’ that lead to unsafe behaviour

As a result, and thanks to closer cooperation with the Mining Inspectorate of the South African Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), in C2010 we did not experience any unplanned, mine-wide safety closures in South Africa. The positive impact of this on production has further highlighted the fact that a safe environment is a prerequisite for consistent and predictable production.

Our safety in the international regions is at present better than in South Africa, although the single fatality at our Tarkwa mine highlighted that we can never relax our focus on safety at any of our operations. Many of the safety indicators in the international regions are showing improvements, however.

The commitment and cooperation of our employees and contractors has been fundamental to these achievements. It has likewise been greatly assisted by the active involvement of our employee representative organisations and unions, host governments and regulators. In South Africa this includes the DMR, which is helping to guide us on how to achieve the improvements needed to meet their 2013 National Health and Safety Milestones.

We are continuing to pursue our ultimate goal of Zero Harm – and we are making progress towards it. In the short-term, this includes our target of reducing all of our safety indicators in South Africa by a further 25% by the end of C2011. A target of 20% applies in our non-South African Regions.

All of our operations are certified to the OHSAS 18001 international safety management standard.

http://www.dmr.gov.za/
http://www.bsigroup.com

Understanding and prioritising our risks

Although safety is a priority across Gold Fields, it is an issue of particular concern at our South African operations. This is because of the latent hazards involved in deep underground mining, as well the relatively labour intensive nature of our operations there. In this context, it is vital for us to understand the risks our employees in South Africa face so that they can be better addressed. The most important of these risks is fall of ground – whether as a result of gravity, seismic movement, or both.

During C2010, gravity fall of groundrelated accidents accounted for 53% of our fatalities compared to 50% in C2009.

By comparison, the relative safety risks posed by our operations in Australia, Ghana and Peru are lower. In Australia, our underground mines are shallow and there are higher levels of mechanisation. As a result, employees face lower levels of exposure to fall of ground. Similarly, the safety risks posed by our surface mines in Ghana and Peru are significantly lower, with vehicle accidents and hand-tool injuries being the main safety risks. Last year, Cerro Corona was awarded first place in the open pit mining category of the National Mining Safety contest, which is run by the Mining Safety Institute of Peru.

In view of the production challenges in South Africa, our operations are supported by a high-level Safety and Health Production Management Task Team. This includes two members of our executive committee and is chaired by the executive vice president of the South Africa Region. The Task Team holds meetings on a fortnightly basis, which are often attended by our CEO. Participants examine the ongoing company safety performance, as well as issues such as reasons for fatalities and projects to ‘engineer-out’ safety risks.

The Task Team forms part of our broader Safe Production Management Programme (SPMP). The SPMP was initiated in 2009 and is aimed at:

  • Improving employee adherence to our safety guidelines through changed behaviour
  • ‘Engineering out’ safety risks from our mines
Click to expand/collapse the table Establishing a Safe Production mentality
 

General engagement framework

All of our employees receive both general and role-specific health and safety training during induction. This is supported through annual refresher training, risk-specific training where required and safety awareness campaigns. Furthermore, safety performance is a key component of our employees’ Individual Balanced Scorecards. The achievement of relevant safety targets determine approximately a third of their variable bonuses and incentives. This plays a vital role in ensuring the diligent everyday application of our safety policies and guidelines.

Through union representation, a total of 84% of our employees in South Africa and 92% of our employees in Ghana are represented at various levels on joint health and safety committees - and on a range of statutory and voluntary engagement forums between supervisors, line managers and organised labour. Indeed, during C2009 we initiated a tripartite forum between the company, government and labour in South Africa.

Changing behaviour in South Africa

During C2010, we continued to embed and implement our Safe Production Rules (SPRs), which are provided in employees’ preferred languages, and are integrated into our standard induction processes. The SPRs work alongside our ‘Stop, Think, Fix, Verify and Continue’ safety campaign, which seeks to improve safety awareness and prudent day-to-day practices. Launched and entrenched in South Africa, we rolled out the SPRs to all Gold Fields operations during C2010.

In South Africa, the SPRs are supported by the SPMP. This aims to achieve a safe mining culture that is in total compliance with our safety protocols, standards and operating procedures.

The programme demands a ‘quantum shift’ in the mentality of our employees and will take time to be fully entrenched. It is particularly important that we achieve this, as too many of our serious accidents and fatalities are the result of human behaviour rather than fall of ground. This appears to be due to risky behaviour, noncompliance with standards by some employees or inadequate supervision/ leadership. For example, of the 17 fatalities recorded in our South African mines in C2010, 47% were non-fall of ground accidents.

It is in this context that we have focused on high quality, two-way discussions with our workforce in South Africa under the SPMP. Relevant initiatives include:

  • Enhanced Safety Alarm questionnaires aimed at inducing behavioural change by encouraging mining teams to analyse and internalise the reasons behind, and consequences of, incidents that have taken place
  • An eight-step Behavioural Safety Programme using multimedia and coaching to help supervisors establish a ‘psychological safety contract’ with their team members
  • ‘Indaba’ sessions, whereby mine overseers and shift supervisors engage their crews each month. Discussions, which centre on quality, cost, delivery, safety and morale, are followed by the development of defined crew action plans
  • ‘Shaft communications’, whereby our operations managers and underground managers engage their entire workforce at a highlevel each month. These twoway sessions aim to motivate employees and train them in hazard management

These initiatives are aimed at encouraging long-term behavioural change by fully cascading our safe production philosophy throughout the entire workforce.

Although it is too early to measure the impact of these measures, there has already been an increase in ‘voluntary stoppages’ by workers and supervisors. In order to supplement these efforts, we are implementing a High Priority Discipline Case Procedure to expedite safety discipline cases and raise the deterrent effect of our discipline procedures.

Changing behaviour in Australia and Ghana

In Australia, we are continuing to implement our innovative and successful Zero Incident Process (ZIP), which uses psychologicallybased methods to improve employees’ safety behaviour. During C2010, the process was extended to all of our major underground contractors at St Ives, where we also re-engineered the programme itself. This includes the development of an expert cadre of safety leaders and the introduction of 40 trained, onsite ZIP coaches. In C2011, the updated programme will be extended to the broader mine workforce.

In Ghana, we are continuing to implement our ‘safety referee’ system at our Damang mine. This uses an easily communicable discipline and reward system through which our employees can ‘police’ one another and so improve safety behaviour.

At Tarkwa, we have fully implemented our leading-edge Near Miss Hazard Reporting System, following its launch in July 2009. This preventative safety system has been particularly successful, with employees now reporting up to 4,000, mostly minor, hazards a month. As a result, a significant number of hazards are being identified and addressed before they cause injury.

At Damang, we started an initiative called the Fatal Risks Drive, aimed at identifying potentially fatal risks before they manifest themselves. This works on a cross-departmental basis and also involves our mineral resources department and environmental department.

DuPont safety review

During C2010, we commissioned external consultants DuPont to carry out an assessment of safety management, safety culture and the application of health and safety practices at our South African operations. This built on previous reports carried out in 2004 and 2008. The latest assessment found that our South African operations had made strong progress in terms of integrating a culture of safe production and Zero Harm into everyday work.

DuPont also carried out a review of our non-South African operations, which included a Safety Perception Survey. This identified a number of strengths, including:

  • An overall evolution in management attitudes from ‘safety compliance’ to ‘safety proaction’
  • The quality of our safety toolkits such as ZIP
  • Innovative safety initiatives at Cerro Corona, including a familybased engagement campaign, international incident sharing and safety analysis, and close safety cooperation between the mine and its local communities
  • A significant shift in mentality in Ghana around safety hazard reporting

Nonetheless, areas in which we need to continue improving include:

  • Integration of our safety message within the broader workforce
  • Stronger safety enforcement methods
  • Management of the safety impact of high levels of staff turnover, particularly amongst senior management in Australia and Ghana
  • Safety standards amongst contractors

Plans are in place to extend the Safety Perception Survey to cover our South African operations following the implementation of Project Blueprint.

http://www.sentis.net/au/
http://www2.dupont.com/

Click to expand/collapse the table Creating a safe mining environment
 

The ‘engineering out’ of safety risks is a key element of our SPMP and a matter of priority for our senior management. It also directly addresses the key risks posed by our deep underground mines in South Africa.

As a result, we have a comprehensive reporting system on the issue in South Africa. This is based on weekly reports to the Safe Production Management Task Team, monthly reports to our senior management and quarterly reports to the Safety, Health and Sustainable Development Committee and the Board of Directors.

Our innovative Seismic Task Team is playing a leading role in this process. The team, which is based at our Seismicity Department at Driefontein (now part of KDC) is comprised of experienced mining seismologists operating advanced monitoring technology. Using underground geophones at KDC, the team detects seismic movement and processes associated data. This data is used to alert workers of safety risks in relevant mine shafts.

Furthermore, research from the Task Team prompted our South African mines to conduct centralised blasting during periods when there are no workers below ground. This followed identification of a clear relationship between seismic activity and blasting – including the fact that 70% of seismic events take place within two hours of blasting. In addition, we have introduced pre-conditioning to better manage the seismic impacts of blasting. This involves the prefragmentation of rock using drills.

The Seismic Task Team has played an important role in reducing the number of fatal accidents at our mines (p76). As shown in Figure 3.20, in C2010 we managed to avoid any fatal seismic Fall of Ground (FOG) events, compared to 10 in C2009 and 11 in C2008 – although a number of fatal gravity FOG incidents did take place.

This has made an important contribution to our marked reduction in total fatalities at our South African mines from 26 in C2009 to 17 in C2010 – and marks an important milestone in our efforts to achieve Zero Harm. We are continuing to examine two further seismic work streams, including geostatistical analysis and the monitoring of in-stope ground movement.

In addition, we integrate occupational health risk management into all project feasibility assessments. Once identified, risks are mitigated through targeted design interventions to achieve the minimum level of risk possible once the project is operational.

In addition, we have two ongoing environmental engineering and hygiene programmes in place in South Africa:

  • Project 31’ aims to ensure no workplace temperature is in excess of 31.0°C (or 32.5°C in trackless operations)
  • Project 10’ is focused on reducing the force or exhaust column leakage to below 10% per 100 meters for conventional development ends and below 20% for trackless operations
  Fatalities from Fall of Ground (FOG) in the South Africa Region
  Calendar Year C2010   C2009   C2008   C2007   C2006   C2005  
  FOG (Gravity) fatals 9   3   3   4   17   12  
  FOG (Seismic) fatals 0   10   11   6   5   12  
  Non-FOG fatals 8   13   17   26   12   10  
  Total fatals 17   26   31   36   34   34  

Specific actions taken in C2010 in South Africa, where the environmental safety exposure is highest, include:

  • Installation of secondary support at KDC, marking the clearing of a secondary support backlog in South Africa and a milestone in our efforts to address rock fall risks
  • Introduction of dedicated support crews to consistently maintain secondary support within 120 meters of all development faces
  • Successful installation of a new water pump column at the Kloof main shaft in order to improve our cooling capabilities

These measures are in addition to other actions initiated earlier and entrenched in C2010, including:

  • Increased mechanisation of our development tunnels, as well as mechanisation of production at South Deep. In addition to achieving efficiency gains, this has removed a significant number of employees from areas with higher rock fall and other environmental risks
  • Installation of enhanced safety features on our rail infrastructure, including safety detection systems and automatic coupling to reduce tramming safety risks

We also further embedded our new planned maintenance system in the region, including revised protocols to facilitate the proactive and effective management of planned maintenance issues.

Click to expand/collapse the table Recording and analysing safety performance
 

During C2010, we have implemented measures focused on the enhanced recording and analysis of our safety performance.

At St Ives, for example, we have augmented the impact of narrowbased ‘Lost Time Injury (LTI)-centric’ safety management by piloting an innovative approach based on Total Incident Frequency Rate (TIFR). This includes a broader range of measures with a direct or indirect impact on safety performance and attitudes, including environmental incidents, equipment damage and minor injuries. These are weighted accordingly.

This provides a more holistic safety management measure that looks at risks as well as outcomes. It also places greater emphasis on the links between individual safety performance and overall operational behaviour. In addition, use of the TIFR also seeks to address concerns that over-reliance on LTIs places too many injured employees on restricted duties instead of being provided with comprehensive early treatment. Although prompt treatment generally gets injured employees back to full productivity much faster, it also results in higher LTI rates and detrimental performance assessments.

Application of the TIFR measure has resulted in an initial increase in St Ives’ LTI rates. At the same time, however, we have seen significant improvements in terms of returning employees and contractors into full productivity earlier. TIFR is now a major variable used to assess employee and contractor performance and we are looking at opportunities for its application beyond the mine.

St Ives is also piloting research into the potential extension of our Cura group risk management system to allow for the vertical integration of worksitespecific operational risks. This includes installation of a new safety database to allow for improved recording and reporting, as well as the modification of risk matrices and the retraining of risk reporters. It is anticipated that compliance with safety procedures will be incorporated into Individual Balanced Scorecards in addition to safety results.

In addition, our Australian mines have implemented the leading-edge Incident Causal Analysis Method. The methodology assists in the identification of the root causes of safety incidents to avoid repetition and promote accident prevention. Importantly, it also de-personalises the analysis of incidents and removes blame from the picture. This allows for a more objective assessment of root causes. Five key issues are examined:

  • Non-contributory facts
  • Absent or failed defences
  • Individual or team actions
  • Task or environmental conditions
  • Organisational factors

In Peru, our Cerro Corona mine carries out monthly meetings with the National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy, where, in collaboration with our peers, we analyse serious safety incidents in the sector. We then use these learnings to review our own systems and processes.

“We don’t treat the statistics, we treat the injuries”
Ben Harrington, Australasia Region Safety Manager, Gold Fields

 

Click to expand/collapse the table Improving underground safety through in-house seismic expertise
 

Seismicity is one of the most pressing safety risks associated with deeplevel underground mining in South Africa. However, Gold Fields proactive and innovation-led approach to addressing seismicity has contributed to significant improvements in safety performance. In C2010, for example, there were no fatalities caused by fall of ground resulting from seismicity. This compares to 10 such fatalities in C2009.

In-house seismic expertise at Gold Fields

Seismic activity at all Gold Fields mines in South Africa is monitored by a team of seismologists from the Gold Fields Seismic Department at Driefontein, now part of KDC. Gold Fields is the only South African gold mining company to have committed to maintaining its own in-house seismology skills to ensure that a dedicated team is continually focused on managing seismic risk. The majority of Gold Fields peers have contracted this function out to the Institute of Mine Seismology.

When a seismic event occurs, the seismic team uses three-dimensional sensors to capture and transmit the seismic waveforms to centrally based servers at KDC for analysis. The results of this analysis – including time, location and source parameters – are then communicated back to the relevant management teams by email, SMS and local screen plotting technologies. Initial location data can be distributed to relevant managers in as little as three to five minutes after an event, helping mining teams respond rapidly to potential seismic risks.

Continuous improvement and innovation in seismic monitoring

Gold Fields Seismic Department has made major strides in improving the speed and accuracy with which seismic data can be processed and communicated. The Asynchronous Data Subscriber Line technology that the team uses can transfer seismic data across the networks up to 100 times faster than 10 years ago. Further improvements in data processing are currently ongoing. By June 2011, the system should be capable of generating data from a seismic event within nine seconds and alerting seismology and management personnel by SMS within 15 seconds.

However, the ‘holy grail’ of seismology remains the ability to forecast the timing and location of future seismic events. Gold Fields seismologists are currently investigating alternatives to the traditional time-based methods, which have been developed with little success over the last 15 years. This research is based on the principles of geo-statistical interpolation and has integrated a time based approach with geo-kriging theory. In essence, it attempts to forecast the time, position and magnitude of future seismic events based on past events. This innovative work is very much in development and is completely unique to the local mining industry.