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Gold Fields Forced to Shut 40% of Output After Ghana Strikes

Gold Fields Ltd. said it was forced to shut its Ghana operations after illegal strikes, shutting more than 40 percent of the South African miner’s output.

The Tarkwa and Damang mines stopped production at about 11 a.m. local time today after workers started industrial action, the company said in a statement issued by Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The Ghana Mineworkers Union and other labor groups yesterday presented management at both mines with demands.

Tarkwa produced 719,000 ounces of gold and Damang 218,000 last year, according to a company presentation. West African operations comprise 43 percent of production and 22 percent of reserves since Gold Fields spun off most of its mature South African assets as Sibanye Gold, a separate company.

Worker demands include the reinstatement of an employee who was dismissed, the removal of certain members of senior management, and the investigation of allegations of discrimination between expatriate and Ghanaian employees, the company said. “Gold Fields is analyzing and investigating the demands as a matter of urgency.”

Gold Fields said it expects to produce 476,000 ounces in the first quarter, according to a separate release. Cash costs are expected to be $830 per ounce.

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