S African miner Gold Fields secures $1.5-bn demerger loan

South Africa's Gold Fields Ltd, the world's fourth-largest gold miner, has arranged a $1.5-billion financing facility from global banks underwritten by Barclays, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan to fund its demerger plan and refinance its existing debt.

The three banks said that they have opened a $900-million loan to participation by other banks and hold the remaining $600 million as a bridge loan to a planned bond issue.

Goldfields is demerging two of its gold mines into a new gold mining company Sibanye Gold Ltd, formerly know as GFI Mining South Africa Pty Ltd, as the country's mines are plagued by miners' strikes, increasing costs and falling production.

Sibanye Gold will hold Kloof-Driefontein Complex (KDC) and Beatrix gold mines as well as various service companies.

The demerger is part of Gold Fields' new strategy to deal with production decline and rise in costs though more efficient operation.

''The first priority, however, will be to achieve stable and safe production," Nick Holland, Gold Fields' chief executive officer, said last week.