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JOHANNESBURG - Harmony Gold said on Tuesday it achieved production guidance for the third consecutive time in the year to June 30, with output of 1.228 million ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of R508,970 per kilogram or US$1,231 per ounce.

The company said its re-investment in Hidden Valley and acquisition of Moab Khotsong would increase annual production by 450,000 to 500,000 ounces.

"In addition, our successful hedging strategy has generated cash flows of R3.6 billion since implementation in FY16, securing cash flow margins and enabling Harmony to repay debt and fund our quality growth strategy. Harmony has delivered," CEO Peter Steenkamp said.

The country's third largest gold mining company, which also operates in Papua New Guinea, reported an eight percent increase in underground recovered grade, a 31 percent increase in South African underground resources and an 11.6 percent rise in underground reserves.

Headline earnings per share however fell to 171 South African cents per share from 298 cents in the previoius year.

Harmony said the key focus areas in the financial year ending 20129 would be safety, repaying debt, delivering on its operational plans and substantially progressing the permitting of its Wafi-Golpu project in Papua New Guinea.

- African News Agency (ANA)