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Harmony Gold Targets Lease Extension

In its 2020 operational report, Harmony Gold said that in 2021, the target is to safely mine the present cutback to have a production between 172,300 and 177,700 ounces while at the same time, beginning the next planned pushback of the main Hidden Valley pit.

The report said, “Our aim is to obtain a renewal of the mining lease to support a proposed mine life extension beyond the current plan. In 2020, Hidden Valley’s safety and injury frequency rates are industry-leading and the operation achieved a fourth consecutive year of zero fatalities and recorded more than two million fatality-free shifts. This is testament to the culture of zero harm, safety coaching and leadership, as well as the use of critical control management that has been embedded operationally to drive safely.”

Its gold production, however, reduced by 22 per cent to 4,872kg and came out with an operating free cash flow of K871 million. This makes it the group’s second-largest contributor to operating free cash flow in 2020.

“Hidden Valley achieved an all-in sustaining unit cost of R562648kg (average gold price received), due to lower gold production in 2020 as a result of lower mined grade as the mine transitioned between various stages of the open pit,” it said. “Higher inventory adjustments and additional costs due to the Covid-19 controls, offset by reduced operating and sustaining capital expenditure year on year. Despite the challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and the 14-day mill stoppage in January, caused by a fault in the mill’s electronic management system, Hidden Valley was able to increase the volume milled by 0.5 per cent to 3.9Mt (tonnes), although the recovered grade declined to 1.25g/t (grades), resulting in lower gold production.”

It added, “In addition to a planned mine life of four years, a pre-feasibility study for the life-of-mine extension has been completed which considers a two to three-year mine life extension and annual gold production of approximately 190,000oz. This study has now progressed to the feasibility stage, with study work expected to be completed during 2021.”

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