THE Opportunities exist for brownfield expansion at the Hidden Valley mine will gives the company a competitive advantage in the region .
Volatile mineral prices have challenged the mining sector both globally and nationally, but the Harmony Gold Southeast Asia Chief Executive Officer, Johannes van Heerden is confident in the gold price and the company’s capacity to expand in Papua New Guinea.
‘Harmony remains a gold bull.’
“With so much global economic uncertainty, gold will retain its appeal as a store of value. We will take a measured view on any investment’s decent returns,” he said.
The South African miner is seeking to become a 1.5 million oz producer within the next three years, producing at a cost of less than $950/oz. To achieve this, the company is focused on opportunities for brownfield expansion at Hidden Valley.
Investment of up to K560 million at the Hidden Valley mine in Morobe Province will be implemented over the next two years, Van Heerden told the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry last week.
In a bid to improve operations following the acquisition of Newcrest Mining’s 50 per cent share in the mine in October, Harmony Gold has commenced waste stripping at stage five and is investing in an additional, and replacement, mobile fleet.
He said nine trucks have been ordered and additional personnel will be recruited to operate and maintain the fleet.
Stockpiles and Hamata ore will be processed to June 2017, followed by a five-month mill shut down. Maintenance and upgrade projects are planned at Hidden Valley mine during the shut down period.”
“We are focused on the Hidden Valley acquisition and the plan to deliver the production required based on the reinvestment made by Harmony in the operation,” he said.
With the Hidden Valley and Wau areas remaining under-explored, there is opportunity for the company to expand its operations in Papua New Guinea.
‘There is potential upside for exploration within the PNG region and also the potential for exploration in areas surrounding the Hidden Valley mine,’ van Heerden elaborates.
‘Brownfield opportunities will come from exploration around Hidden Valley.’