Harmony boosts gold output despite Covid-19
JOHANNESBURG - HARMONY Gold Mining Company reported that the integration of the Mponeng and Mine Waste Solutions assets, coupled with the effective measures adopted in preventing, mitigating the impact of Covid-19 and disciplined mining had boosted output during the half-year ended December 2020.
Harmony recorded an 8 percent year-on-year increase in output to 745 347 ounces (23 183 kilograms) during the six months ended December thanks to a 5 percent jump in underground grade recoveries to 5.58 grams per ton from 5.29 grams per ton.
Group output for the quarter ended December, 31, 2020 surged by 38 percent to 431 622 ounces (13 425kg) compared to 313 725 ounces (9 758kg) in the September 2020 quarter. Underground grade recoveries during the quarter increased by 9 percent to 5.80 grams per ton from 5.31 grams per ton during the September 2020 quarter.
Harmony, whose gold mines include Kusasalethu in South Africa and the Hidden Valley open cast mine in Papua New Guinea, said that the improved output during the period would make it possible to meet its annual output targets of between 1.26 million ounces and 1.3 million ounces.
“Since assuming full ownership of Mponeng mine, Mine Waste Solutions and related assets on October 1, 2020, these acquired assets have contributed 103 525 ounces (3 220kg),” said the group.
The group also said this was excluding these acquired assets it had met its half-year production guidance.
Chief executive Peter Steenkamp said in navigating the return-to-work challenges, top of mind was the health, safety and overall well-being of employees.
“I wish to commend our health and operational teams for the remarkable job done in ensuring a safe return to work. The integration of Mponeng and Mine Waste Solutions went according to plan and contributed both to the quality of the ounces produced and overall production,” said Steenkamp.
Last year the group concluded the R5 billion acquisition of the Mponeng mine west of Joburg and Mine Waste Solutions the last remaining South African assets of AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s biggest gold producer.
The deal which was significant, in terms of its transaction size, further solidified Harmony’s position as the largest gold producer in South Africa. It also concluded AngloGold Ashanti’s total mining exit from South Africa to focus on its core offshore operations.