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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


Click to expand/collapse the table  How does carbon trading work?

Carbon trading (also called emissions trading) allows businesses that pollute the earth’s atmosphere to buy allowances, whilst those that are more efficient can sell allowances they no longer need, at a profit.

This practice is part of a system commonly referred to as “cap and trade.” Under a cap and trade system, a government sets a national goal for total greenhouse gas emissions over a set period of time, such as a quarter or a year, and then allocates credits to companies which allow them to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases. If a company is unable to use all of its credits, it can sell or trade those credits with a company which is afraid of exceeding its allowance.

Click to expand/collapse the table  What are carbon credits?

To achieve a reduction in emissions, developed nations have two choices:

  1. They can adjust operations and processes to physically reduce their emissions, or
  2. They can ‘buy’ carbon credits to meet reduction deficits.

The second choice can be achieved either through buying carbon credits (carbon trading), engaging in joint implementation projects or by supporting clean development mechanism (CDM) projects, which recue emissions in developing countries.

Click to expand/collapse the table  What is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)?

The clean development mechanism (CDM) is a way for industrialised countries to fulfil their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. It is an arrangement that allows industrialised countries to invest in ‘carbon projects’ that reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries.

Click to expand/collapse the table  What are CERs?

CERs are Certified Emission Reductions – a form of carbon credit achieved through CDM projects. CERs can be traded and used by developed countries to comply with emission reduction targets. Although developing countries aren’t legally required to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, they play a vital role with respect to CDM projects and generating CERs.

Click to expand/collapse the table  What is the Beatrix Project?

Methane emanates from underground geological features such as faults, fissures and dykes and escapes during the normal course of mining operations. If released into the atmosphere, it is a potent greenhouse gas. At the Beatrix Project, methane gas is captured at source in the underground workings of the Beatrix Mine, and is conveyed via a system of pipes to the flares where it will be flared during the first phase of the project. As a second phase of the project, Gold Fields is looking at ways of using the gas to generate electricity, thereby converting a harmful greenhouse gas into a valuable resource.

Click to expand/collapse the table  What other projects related to carbon management does Gold Fields have on the go or in the pipeline?

At present, the Beatrix project is our flagship carbon management project. Pipeline projects include: Kloof 3 shaft hard ice project in association with Mitsibushi; Main Fan Control project with Nedbank; the Biomass Energy project that is in concept phase and Project Python, that will consider underground crushing and milling in association with Dong Energy.

Gold Fields is developing projects in South Africa which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since these projects adhere to certain criteria defined by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol, carbon credits will be awarded for emission reductions, which can then be sold on the open market or used as offsets against emissions in Australia once the proposed carbon emissions trading scheme comes into force in mid-2011.

Click to expand/collapse the table  What will Gold Fields’ cumulative energy savings be?

At present, it is difficult to quantify cumulative energy savings associated with ventilation and compressed air savings as the Beatrix project is in its implementation phase and not operational as yet. As part of the second phase of the Beatrix project, it is planned to generate approximately 4.5 MW of electrical power as well as to install thermal hot water recovery of 5 MW. However, during 2008 and 2009, Gold Fields submitted detailed information related to our CO2 emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The Carbon footprint calculated for Gold Fields in the calendar year of 2008 was 5.68 million tons CO2e. The carbon footprint per ounce of gold produced was determined to be 1.52 tons of CO2e.

Click to expand/collapse the table  What are your current CO2 emissions?

We are currently preparing our 2009 Carbon Footprint that will form part of the new CDP submission in May of 2010.

Click to expand/collapse the table  What financial benefits can be expected from an integrated carbon management approach?

The primary financial benefits will relate to cost savings and opening up mineable reserves. By reducing pay limits, one is able to open up reserves to be mined, which subsequently increase your revenue stream, thereby offsetting costs. The more reserves we have to mine, the longer we remain in business, which is to the benefit of all our stakeholders.

Click to expand/collapse the table  How does climate change impact on Gold Fields?

Climate change impacts on Gold Fields through many factors, including:

  • Physical effects on operations;
  • Regulations, including the cost of emissions and the effect on energy cost;
  • Carbon accounting and taxation requirements;
  • Investor demands for disclosure of carbon strategy; and
  • Carbon trading markets.