Chief executive officer Graham Briggs said the company was aware that investors in the metals had different strategic requirements.
Over and above dealing with ageing, low-grade, deep-level mines in SA, Harmony’s board is weighing various options around the Golpu deposit it shares with Australia’s Newcrest Mining, Briggs said last week.
Shareholders balked at the initial US$5bn (K13bn) cost to mine Golpu, forcing the partners to adopt a cheaper, staged plan at a cost of US$2.3bn (K6.3bn) for the first 27-year phase to extract 3.7-million ounces of gold and 2.2-million tonnes of copper.
Harmony would need to find R14bn (K3.1bn) to fund its half of the project, more than twice its R6bn (K1.3bn) market capitalisation.
The options around Golpu potentially range from an outright sale
to unbundling the asset or separately listing it, with the option of
Harmony retaining a stake in Golpu.
There is a remote possibility of Harmony retaining the project and other assets in Papua New Guinea and separating the South African mines.
The question is whether Harmony will bundle all its Papua New Guinea assets, which include wholly owned exploration tenements, into a single vehicle or keep the Hidden Valley mine and other prospects within Harmony.
Splitting Golpu out of Harmony could release some of the Golpu project’s inherent value. – Business Day Live