Harmony’s Senior Executives Affirm Company’s Commitment to PNG

by PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Photo: Harmony representatives present at meeting in Port Moresby with Prime Minister, Honourable James Marape MP (L-R) Mr. J. Van Heerden, Ms. B. Lekubo, Prime Minister, Honourable James Marape MP, Mrs. M van der Walt and Mr. K. Wali.

Senior executives from Harmony’s offices in South Africa, toured company assets in PNG this week. They met with Prime Minister James Marape to emphasise the company’s continued commitment to invest and grow in PNG.

Harmony’s Financial Director, Boipelo Lekubo, and Senior Group Executive: Enterprise Risk and Investor Relations, Marian van der Walt, spoke of Harmony’s investment in PNG since 2004 and the company’s pursuit of multiple opportunities in the Morobe Province, of which the Wafi-Golpu Project is one.

“Harmony, through its subsidiary companies, owns the Hidden Valley Mine and 50% of the Wafi-Golpu Project, as well as extensive exploration interests in and around the Morobe Province,” Ms. Lekubo said.

“Significant capital works associated with the Hidden Valley Mine life extension are presently underway, and Harmony continues to assess further investment opportunities in PNG”, Ms. Lekubo added.

As of 31 December 2021, the Hidden Valley Mine had paid an aggregate PGK 179.4 million in royalties. However, as many industries are experiencing, “Our stakeholders increasingly wish to understand what Harmony is doing environmentally, socially and in terms of governance,” Ms. Lekubo said.

“‘Responsible Stewardship’ is a key pillar underpinning Harmony’s operating philosophy, which is mining with purpose. The principles of sustainable development are embedded in our business. For example, we recognise, both in South Africa and PNG, that preferential procurement is a national imperative, and we are proud to be supporting PNG businesses, including landowner businesses. During the previous financial year, Harmony’s total procurement spend in PNG was PGK 517 million, including PGK 152 million spend with landowner companies.”

“Investment in a country’s people is also key. More than 96% of the Hidden Valley Mine’s 1,600-person permanent workforce are Papua New Guineans, including 29% of senior management and 76% of superintendents. This is continuing to increase through our Superintendent and Leadership development programs. We also recently announced our 2022 scholarship recipients, awarding full scholarships to four Morobeans’ to pursue university studies in mining related fields.”

“That 15% of our Hidden Valley Mine workforce is female, including over 24% of truck operators—many who have been recruited from our landowner communities—is also a source of pride.”

Harmony is also committed to responding to climate change and has announced its plans to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2045. Ms Lekubo explained, “This commitment will influence our energy choices and Harmony’s approach to developments going forward. “There is no doubt about the importance of the Hidden Valley Mine, and—in the future—the Wafi-Golpu Project, to Harmony.

Ms. Lekubo said that The Hidden Valley Mine proved to be critical to the Harmony Group when all of Harmony’s South African mines were shut down due to Covid-19 restrictions. “Thank you to each of our stakeholders for ensuring that the mine remains responsible and viable through particularly challenging times. A special thanks also goes to the PNG Government for partnering with us in keeping Harmonites safe and healthy”.

With respect to the Wafi-Golpu Project, Harmony has been encouraged by the recent progress of discussions with the PNG Government.

“We look forward to concluding the permitting of the Wafi-Golpu project, enabling us to continue creating shared value for all our stakeholders in PNG”, Ms. Lekubo concluded.

 

Article courtesy of Harmony Gold



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