JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Mining has ceased at all of the nine underground gold mines of Harmony Gold, but the Johannesburg- and New York-listed company’s surface retreatment operations and opencast mine will continue to function, collectively producing between 650 kg and 700 kg in the 21-day lockdown period in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company’s Hidden Valley gold mine in Papua New Guinea will also continue to mine, subject to any directive issued in line with the south-western Pacific country’s coronavirus response.
Care and maintenance at the underground mines during the lockdown includes the continued provision of water, power, security and the operation of health hubs at each mine.
All exploration and capital projects have been suspended as part of the company’s pursuit of cash preservation.
“The health and safety of all of our employees – and in particular those who continue to work on the care and maintenance of our mines, as well as at Hidden Valley – remain our highest priorities. We continue to ensure compliance with all prescribed and recommended preventive measures – in both South Africa and Papua New Guinea,” Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp said in a release to Mining Weekly.
The net debt position of Harmony as at December 31 was R4 290-million, a decrease of R632-million on the June 30 figure.
Revenue rose 11% to R15 477-million in the six months to the end of December, supported by a 19% increase in the gold price to R683 158/kg over the period, but offset by 8% lower gold production.
Net profit was R1.332-billion compared with a loss for the comparable period in the previous financial year.
Costs were up 6% on wages and electricity and production profit was up 21% to R4.1-billion.