JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The $180-million expansion project at Harmony Gold’s Hidden Valley mine, in Papua New Guinea, is progressing ahead of schedule and on budget, the South Africa-based miner reported on Thursday.
Harmony, which bought former joint venture partner Newcrest’s stake in Hidden Valley last year, is developing the Hidden Valley-Kaveroi Stage 5 and 6 cutbacks to double production at the mine to 180 000 oz/y.
Mining at the Stage 5 cutback is a month ahead of schedule and on budget, with a yearly mining rate of 28-million tonnes a year having been achieved last month, the company reported in a media statement.
To date, more than 65% of the planned capital investment in the Stage 5 and Stage 6 cutback has been incurred.
The Hidden Valley mine is expected to achieve steady state production in the June quarter next year.
Meanwhile, Harmony also reported that it had completed a major planned shutdown at Hidden Valley two weeks ahead of schedule. The shutdown started in August and was necessitated by depleted ore stockpiles and a lack of mined ore to feed the plant. During the shutdown, extensive upgrades and maintenance were undertaken.
Harmony resumed ore processing at Hidden Valley on November 15.