Last year Mark Cutifani famously described Australia as representing higher sovereign risk than South Africa - which left us scratching our heads. Giving lie to this, Gold Fields - once South Africa's second-largest gold producer - has announced that it had improved its sovereign risk profile by cutting its South Africa production the smallest of its four global regions - and dramatically increasing its Australian production base to its biggest by far. The JSE- and NYSE-listed company now has six mines in Australia and only one in South Africa. Forty two per cent of Gold Fields production will in future come from Australia and only 11% from South Africa. Only last year the situation was virtually the complete reverse, with 45% from South Africa and 19% from Australia.
I have been a senior resources analyst following the fortunes of the mining and energy sectors for the past 25 years - previously working with stockbroker Intersuisse and financial group Fat Prophets. I am also Executive Director, Mining & Metals...
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