HARMONY Gold Mining said yesterday that production of the yellow metal had remained steady in the six months to end-December 2021 at 22 355kg (718 726 ounces) compared with 22 031kg produced during the previous six months period ended June 30, 2021.
The mining group said in an update ahead of the interim results to be announced on February 28 that gold production over these specific periods was compared because they included a full six months’ production from Mponeng and related assets, whereas the same six-month period a year before included only three months’ production from Mponeng.
Rand per kilogram costs for the South African operations remain broadly in line with what was originally guided at about R765 000/kg to R800 000/kg.
In the Hidden Valley mine in Papua New Guinea, gold production was down 26 percent to 1 871kg, against the comparable period as a result of geo-technical issues that prevented the effective mining of stage 6 of the open pit, resulting in more lower grade stockpiles being processed.
Covid-19 related restrictions and rostering also had an impact on the workforce in Papua New Guinea.
The replacement of 6km of overland conveyor belt damaged early this month was expected to have a major impact on full-year production at Hidden Valley.
Waste and ore mining at the mine continues and trucks are being used to transport ore to the plant until the belt repairs are completed towards mid-March 2022.
As a result, Hidden Valley’s production was revised downwards from 153 000 to 161 000 ounces (as previously guided) to 115 000 to 117 000 ounces for the year ending June 30, 2022.
The overall all-in sustaining cost has consequently been revised from R765 000/kg to R800 000/kg as previously guided, to R805 000/kg to R835 000/kg.
Harmony has seen steady increases in production since it acquired Mponeng Mine and Mine Waste Solutions business in late 2020.
An analysis on the Seeking Alpha website said Harmony suffered from relatively high costs compared to its peers, and that its earnings might decrease sharply if the gold price falls below $1 700 (R25 972) an ounce. The spot gold price traded at $1 864.33 an ounce yesterday.
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