Delivery of first gold at Gold Field’s Salares Norte Project
Gold Fields Salares Norter Project

Delivery of first gold at Gold Field’s Salares Norte Project

Gold Fields said its Salares Norte Project has commenced production with the delivery of first gold on Thursday, March 28, 2024. 


This represents a significant milestone for the Salares Norte Project which Gold Fields is proud to have taken from discovery, through exploration and development to production over the past 13 years. 

Reacting to the development, CEO of Gold Fields, Mike Fraser, said, “We are incredibly excited to have reached this milestone and delivered first gold in line with the updated project schedule, as we committed in December 2023. 

Salares Norte is a world class project with one of the industry’s lower cost profiles and a payback period of less than three years at current gold prices. It presents significant growth and value uplift for our portfolio and adds meaningfully to the cash flow profile of Gold Fields over the next few years.”

The company said in a release that “Circuit A and Circuit B of the processing plant have now been commissioned by the Project and are being handed over to the operational team. 

Ramp up of the Project to steady state is progressing with gold equivalent production of 250koz at an all-in cost (AIC) of US$1,790/eq oz – US$1,850/eq oz expected for 2024. Production volumes for 2025 are expected to be 580koz.” It added.

Mine life

Average gold equivalent production for the first five full years of mine life (2025 – 2029) is expected to be 485koz per annum at an AIC of US$790/eq oz (in 2024 money), while gold equivalent ounces produced over the life of mine (2025 – 2033) is expected to be 360koz per annum at an AIC of US$820/eq oz (in 2024 money).

It said Hatch have completed a review of the ramp up schedule with an expectation that the planned ramp up to steady state monthly production in Q1 2025 is feasible, based on normal operating  conditions.

The Project total capital cost remains in line with the guidance provided in February 2024 at US$1,180m – US$1,200m.

Lower production anticipated 

Meanwhile, it said update on Q1 2024 production volumes Group production for Q1 2024 is expected to be lower than planned, impacted by operational challenges at the 

South Deep mine and by weather-related events in Australia and Peru.

Operational momentum at South Deep was impacted by the fatality on January 2 2024 which was compounded by reduced stope access, due to increased backfill rehandling, and slower stope turnaround in current destress cuts.

Actions being taken to address these constraints are starting to yield results, with Q1 2024 production expected to be between 57.4koz and 58.0koz (1 784kg – 1 804kg).

It said although all the Australian operations were impacted by the recent severe weather conditions, Gruyere has been particularly hard hit.

Rainfall in the region resulted in the damage and closure of the Laverton Shire roads, which provide access to the mine. Mining operations at Gruyere were suspended on March 5, 2024 while the plant continued to process lower grade stockpiles until  March 28, 2024. 

The access road remains closed with no firm date on when it will re-open. Gruyere has opportunistically brought forward a three- day shutdown originally scheduled for April 2024 and is assessing options to bring fuel and supplies in via alternative routes to enable a resumption of the operations. 

Q1 2024 production for Gruyere is therefore expected to be 64,3koz (100% basis), subject to minor adjustments when refining of gold doré has been completed.

Production at Cerro Corona was also affected by inclement weather during the quarter which impacted the north wall of the pit, resulting in a resequencing of mining to the lower-grade areas. Q1 2024 production for Cerro Corona is therefore expected to be 40koz eq – 42koz eq.

Expected production

Group attributable gold equivalent production for Q1 2024 is expected to be between 460koz and 470koz (excluding Asanko).

All-in sustaining costs (AISC) and AIC for the quarter are expected to be impacted by the lower production and will be reported in the Company’s Q1 2024 update on 23 May 2024.


The 2024 annual group guidance unchanged annual group production and cost guidance for 2024 remains unchanged in line with that announced on February 22, 2024 at attributable gold equivalent production (excluding Asanko) of between 2.33Moz and 2.43Moz. 

2024 AISC is expected to be between US$1,410/oz and US$1,460/oz, and AIC is expected to be between US$1,600/oz and US$1,650/oz. The 2024 sustaining capital expenditure includes A$200m (US$132m) for the St Ives renewable power project. 

Excluding this project, which accounts for approximately US$60/oz, the ranges for AISC are US$1,350/oz – US$1,400/oz and US$1,540/oz to US$1,590/oz for AIC.

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