Gold Fields has $1 billion available for M&A – CEO

CAPE TOWN (Capital Markets in Africa) – South African bullion producer Gold Fields has a $1 billion loan facility to draw on if it wants to pursue mergers or acquisitions, but no deals are on the immediate horizon, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

“We have a $1 billion committed, unutilised facility,” Nick Holland told Reuters on the sidelines of an African mining conference in Cape Town.

But he said the company did not feel compelled to pursue any deals at the moment and if it did so it would likely be in countries where it already operates such as Australia, Peru or Ghana.

In addition, Gold Fields is gearing up for an operation to capture and relocate a population of critically endangered chinchillas living around its Chilean mining project.

The environmental impact of mining companies is under growing scrutiny and is high on the radar of both investors and conservationists.

Hunted for centuries for their thick, soft pelt, chinchillas are now only found in the wild in parts of Chile and the mining company has agreed to move the rare rodents.

“We have to capture all the chinchillas and resettle them,” Gold Fields Chief Executive Nick Holland told Reuters on the sidelines of a mining conference.

“It’s part of our environmental agreement with the state,” he said. Holland said the animals would be relocated about 50 km (30 miles) from its Salares Norte gold and silver project.

Source: Reuters Africa News

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