Harmony Gold wins approval for 100,000 oz/year expansion of Mine Waste Solutions

HARMONY Gold said it had received regulatory approvals to expand Kareerand, a deposition site as part of its Mine Waste Solutions (MWS) which was acquired from AngloGold Ashanti along with the Mponeng mine in 2020.

The Kareerand Expansion Project is expected to produce about 100,000 ounces of gold a year and will add 16 years life of mine to MWS at an estimated all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of R572,000/kg over the life of mine, said Harmony.

This would lower the risk profile of Harmony’s portfolio and improve its margin as a result, the company said in an announcement.

“This low risk, low cost operation will ensure healthy returns for investors, the creation of jobs for another 16 years and the rehabilitation and restoration of land in the area,” said Peter Steenkamp, CEO of Harmony Gold.

MWS is a reclamation operation in the Stilfontein/Orkney area in South Africa’s North West province. It treats 2.2 million tons per month from historical tailings facilities through the MWS plant.

Residue is then deposited on the existing Kareerand tailings storage facility, which is running out of tailings deposition capacity, thus necessitating building an extended tailings dam, said Harmony Gold.

Re-mining deposition sites also has the benefit of improving the environment and making new industrial property available.

Harmony Gold said on June 2 it had agreed a $400m and R4bn finance package for its previously stated renewable energy plans that will take the group to net carbon zero by 2045. ABSA Bank led a syndicate of lenders part of which involves a R1.5bn green loan, ring-fenced for Phase 2 of Harmony’s renewable energy roll-out.

While phase one is to build 30MW of solar power at its Free State mines, phase two more ambititiously reaches for 137MW of renewable energy at the firm’s longer-life mines. Some R500m in annual savings has been targeted.

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