Gold Fields Seeks to Buy Producing Mines to Increase Cash Flow

Gold Fields Ltd. seeks to buy mines already in production to boost cash flow, said the South African producer of the metal with operations from Australia to Peru.

The company will seek cash-generative deals like its $270 million purchase of three Barrick Gold Corp. mines last year, Chief Executive Officer Nick Holland told investors in Denver in a Sept. 16 presentation. Buying high-quality mines at low cost is a “core competence” of Gold Fields, he said.

“If we could repeat the success of the Yilgarn acquisition in Australia, then clearly we would be looking to try and buy something,” Holland said. “These would be typically bolt-on deals of in-production assets generating free cash.” Increased output from the three former Barrick mines, known as Yilgarn, should cover the purchase cost within two years, he said.

Gold Fields seeks to buy cheap assets as larger producers offload some mines to pay back debt and adjust to a bullion price down 27 percent since the start of 2013. The company was the fourth-largest producer before it spun off three aging yet cash-generative South African mines in February last year.

Gold Fields has stopped seeking gold in virgin territory and plans to spend more on areas where it’s already mining. Drilling near St. Ives and Darlot in Australia and Tarkwa in Ghana will be a key focus, Holland said.

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