HARMONY Gold would report gold production of between 1.5 million and 1.55 million ounces for the financial year ended June despite fresh waves of Covid-19 disruption. CEO Peter Steenkamp described the year as “anything but easy”.
The company had previously forecast 1.56 million to 1.6 million oz.
In addition to Covid-19 disruption, the reduction in gold production guidance was owing to technical difficulties at Hidden Valley, its Papua New Guinea (PNG) mine.
In a strategic update, the gold producer said today that in addition to meeting its revised production guidance, it had also made advances with its Wafi-Golpu project in PNG while the purchase of Mponeng from AngloGold Ashanti had been “a game-changer”.
“We have managed to grow our gold ounces and de-risk our portfolio while expanding our margins and improve our cash flows well into the future,” said Steenkamp.
“Not only are we now the largest gold producer in South Africa by volume, but we have a substantial surface source business with an exciting pipeline of both brownfield and greenfield opportunities,” he said.
The company is scheduled to report its year-end results on August 31.
Steenkamp said discussions with the PNG government regarding a special mining lease for Wafi-Golpu had recommenced. Harmony had also received permits for the extension of Hidden Valley.
Harmony’s third quarter gold output was down 12.2% compared to the second quarter owing to “uncharacteristically” slow production build-up.
This was a result of the second wave in Covid-19 infections in South Africa which delayed the return of foreign employees.