Gold Fields Limited is an unhedged, globally diversified producer of gold with eight operating mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa with attributable annual gold production of approximately 2.2 million ounces. It has attributable mineral reserves of around 48 million ounces and mineral resources of around 108 million ounces. Gold Fields has a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited, with secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ Dubai Limited and the Swiss Exchange.
Gold Fields started producing a separate Sustainable Development report as part of the Annual Report in 2003. Proper Integrated Reporting – with the integration of the old annual report and the sustainable development report – happened in 2010. This move was prompted in part by corporate governance trends as captured by the King III Code of Corporate Governance in South Africa, international reporting trends, and the demands and criticism of stakeholders (such as NGOs, communities, governments) that the Group wasn’t doing enough good sustainable development work. We had to report the statistics and trends in the annual report to provide the evidence for our position.
More importantly though, mining companies also needed to be far more in sync with environmental, societal and government issues than companies in other sectors. For example, while in years gone by community issues were a side issue for many managers, now it is integral to their work – without the support of communities, mines cannot produce. Integrated thinking is therefore the result of the realities of mining and the need for senior to middle management to think beyond financial and operational requirements to include environmental, societal and government issues.
As a result of this external change, internal systems started to adapt – starting with Gold Fields’ risk policy, which now lists risks related to all relevant capitals for the Group, regions and mines. The risk register is used to determine the Group’s strategy, which now reflects the integrated approach. And this strategy works its way into the key performance indicators of senior management. Gold Fields’ integrated report is obviously a mirror of the issues faced by the Group and dealt with by its senior management teams, whether they are operational, technical, financial or sustainability related.