Gold production at South African precious metals miner Gold Fields increased by 4% in the quarter ending June 2009 to 906,000oz from the previous quarterly figure.

Gold Fields also confirmed that there were eight fatal accidents as a result of its production activities in South Africa during the quarter.

The company’s operating cost fell 2% in the quarter because of stronger exchange rates and total cash costs decreased by 6% to $512 per ounce.

Production at its Beatrix site in South Africa increased by 29% as issues that had impacted production levels have largely been resolved, the company said.

Its Tarkwa project witnessed an 8% increase in production and output levels are expected to rise again in the September quarter.

Gold production at Kloof fell by 7% compared with the previous quarter due to safety related stoppages.

The company forecasts gold production levels to remain the same in the next quarter because of safety-related stoppages at its Kloof and Driefontein operations.

Total cash costs could increase by 15%, mainly due to wage and electricity increases in South Africa and the stronger rand/US dollar exchange rate.