JOHANNESBURG – JSE-listed Harmony Gold said on Thursday that gold production from its South African underground operations will be 12% to 14% higher quarter-on-quarter, due to an increase in both volumes and recovered grade.
This comes ahead of the release next month of Harmony’s production results for the first quarter of the 2018 financial year.
Harmony operates in South Africa and in Papua New Guinea. The company has nine underground mines, one open-pit mine and several surface operations in South Africa and employs more than 30 000 people, including contractors.
Harmony’s Kusasalethu mine in Carletonville recently went back to full production following temporary closure in August as government was investigating the cause of a seismic event that killed five workers.
The miner said gold production was 6% to 8% higher than in the corresponding quarter in the previous financial year.
The planned waste stripping of cutbacks 5 and 6 at Hidden Valley is ahead of schedule and will be completed towards the end of November, Harmony said.
Despite the impact on Hidden Valley’s gold production, Harmony’s total gold production increased by 3% to 5% quarter-on-quarter and the corresponding quarter year-on-year.
Harmony chief executive, Peter Steenkamp, said: “Focus on safety, operational excellence at our South African operations and delivery at Hidden Valley in the second half of 2018 financial year will ensure that we remain on track to meet our production guidance”.
In 2016 financial year, Harmony’s South African operations accounted for 93% of total production of 1.08-million ounces of gold in the country.