South African gold producer Gold Fields posted a quarterly loss on Thursday, hit by impairments in Ghana and lower prices, but said it would spend $300 million to snap up Barrick Gold’s Australian assets.
The company said it lost $129 million in the three months to June compared with earnings of $27 million in the previous quarter. This made for a net attributable loss of 18 U.S. cents per share, compared to net earnings of 4 U.S. cents per share in the previous quarter.
Gold Fields, which earlier this year unbundled the bulk of its assets in South Africa, where labour and political risks are high, signaled it remained keen to expand its global presence with the Barrick acquisition, which will add 452,000 ounces to its annual production.
Gold Fields expects to produce between 1.83 and 1.9 million ounces this year.
Gold Fields said its loss mostly derived from impairment charges of $143 million at its Tarkwa operations and $127 million at its Damang operations, both of which are in Ghana.
The charges related to its decision to curtail processing activities at the operations because of the lower gold price.
The average gold price in the June 2013 quarter was 13 percent lower at $1,405 an ounce and the spot price has lost around 30 percent since its record high of just over $1,920 scaled in September of 2011.
Rival AngloGold Ashanti also has troublesome assets in Ghana and its chief executive said this week that its flagship Obuasi mine there was unsustainable.
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