Harmony to focus on growing value of PNG assets between 2015 and 2020
Chantelle Kotze | Mining Weekly
GRAHAM BRIGGS Hamony Gold believes Golpu will add value to its asset portfolio and be a really sustainable mine going forward. Photo: Duane Daws
Part of gold miner Harmony Gold’s strategy between 2015 and 2020 is to grow the value of its Papua New Guinea assets by completing studies at its Golpu project and building the Golpu mine, despite negative analyst forecasts, CEO Graham Briggs has said.
Speaking at the fourth-quarter results presen-tation, held in Johannesburg earlier this month, Briggs highlighted that a conceptual study report on four high-grade, sublevel cave start-up mine options had been completed and progressed to a prefeasibility study (PFS).
While the Golpu resource definition drilling programme was now complete for the 2014 financial year, scalable mine options of between 2.5-million tons a year and 5-million tons a year were selected for progression to PFS level.
Briggs noted that this would be completed when the gated process had been finalised towards the end of this calendar year.
Harmony Gold’s new targeted outcomes from the Golpu study under way are to look at a modular expandable plant solution, a lower total capital cost using sublevel caving, as opposed to block caving to extract the high grade, as well as a scalable start-up mine and infrastructure development that is flexible enough to allow for expansion.
The Golpu project, located in Morobe province, which is jointly owned by Harmony Gold and gold miner Newcrest Mining, is a large and scalable resource of high-grade, low-cost copper.
There have been no changes to the reserves of Golpu since the PFS was completed in 2012. Changes to the resources are as a result of additional drilling and a more robust geological model. On a 100% basis, Golpu continues to host high-grade, quality reserves of 450-million tons, containing 12.4-million ounces of gold and 5.4 million tons of copper.
Golpu will require less capital to start up and has the potential for a long life that will be flexible and adaptable in multiple price cycles.
Harmony Gold is also derisking Golpu’s development through its project development experi-ence, operational base and support services in Papua New Guinea, as well as the orebody’s high- grade zones.
Briggs noted that, although there were a number of sceptics, Golpu was intended as a mine that could be mined at a much higher grade when commodity prices were lower and easily expandable if copper and gold prices increased.
“We believe this asset will add value to our asset portfolio and be a really sustainable mine going forward,” he concluded.