Harmony Gold's Phakisa mining operation. File picture: Supplied

Johannesburg – Harmony Gold Mining Company says its annual production target is in reach.

In a statement to shareholders on Tuesday, the listed miner said it was on track to reach 1.05 million ounces.

The company says, in its update for the nine months to March, it has produced 812 912 ounces so far.

This was at a cash operating cost of R439 669/kg, or S$996 an ounce.

The miner, which in September bought 100 percent of Hidden Valley, a gold and copper project in Papua New Guinea, after buying out its partner, Newcrest Mining, Australia’s biggest gold producer for $1, says it recorded an 8 percent operating free cash flow margin.

This figure, for the year so far, was strengthened by the gold hedging agreements that are in place, it says.

Harmony adds its underground average recovered grade remains above 5g/t. The all-in sustaining costs (AISC) for the nine months ended March 31 is $1 170/oz or R516 630/kg.

Read also: Harmony Gold acquires Hidden Valley

However, quarter on quarter gold production was 7 percent lower, mainly due to the customary slow start up after the December holidays, it says.

CEO Peter Steenkamp notes the “fundamentals underpinning our mine plans enable us to achieve our annual production guidance. Safety, costs and grade continue to be a focus and higher production in the fourth quarter will drive down unit costs".