Johannesburg - Gold Fields said a feasibility study showed a large open pit operation envisioned for its Chucapaca project in Peru would be too costly and more work was needed to find a model there that delivered acceptable profits.

South Africa-based Gold Fields, the world's fourth-largest bullion producer, is developing the project in a joint venture with Peru-based mining company Buenaventura .

“The partners have studied the viability of a large open-pit operation,” Gold Fields said in a statement on Wednesday.

“A first draft of the feasibility study has been completed and as a result of relatively high capital and operating costs, this option would not have delivered acceptable ... returns,” the company said.

Gold Fields added future studies would focus on other options to develop the mine, including an underground operation or a combined open-pit/underground model.

“The partners reiterate their commitment to unlocking the potential of the Chucapaca project, which will need the support of all stakeholders, particularly the neighbouring communities,” Gold Fields said. - Reuters