Johannesburg - South African gold producer Gold Fields said on Monday it had received a letter from the government expressing concern about its social and labour plans but did not think the licence at its flagship South Deep mine was in jeopardy.

“I can confirm that we received a letter from DMR (department of mineral resources) and we have responded to the letter and we are working with the DMR to resolve the issues they raised in the letter,” Goldfields spokesman Sven Lunsche said.

“We believe our licence is not at risk as we are working with the DMR to resolve issues,” he said.

A local business newspaper said the state had threatened to halt Gold Fields' operations at South Deep, its only remaining South African asset, for failure to provide accommodation to 2,600 employees at the mine and other alleged transgressions.

Mining companies in South Africa have to comply with a number of social and labour regulations designed to uplift the mostly black labour force that was exploited and ill-treated under apartheid.

South Deep is a mechanised operation attempting to unlock the wealth of one of the world's largest gold reserves but its production targets have constantly shifted, much to the annoyance of investors. - Reuters