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S.African Gold Fields earnings surge on higher prices

South African miner Gold Fields Ltd. said Wednesday it expected earnings to more than triple as higher gold prices offset disruptions wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The price of gold, considered a safe haven in times of economic uncertainty, briefly hit record highs above $2,000 an ounce last year, with investors amassing the precious metal in case stocks took a tumble.

Earnings per share for the full year ending 31 December 2020 are expected to range between $0.80 and $0.84, an increase of between 300 to 320 percent from their level in 2019, Gold Fields said in a trading update.

Production increased marginally during the period under review, reaching 2.236 million ounces — a two percent rise – from 2.195 million ounces in 2019.

The earnings increase was driven by slightly higher production and higher prices “despite the hedges that were in place during 2020,” the Johannesburg-based producer said.

Gold Fields has nine mines, some of which are in West Africa, Peru and Australia.

The miner has recently seen its South Deep operation — which sits on one of the world’s largest known reserves of gold-bearing ore — return to profitability after years of losses.