Gold major Harmony Gold Mining said on Thursday it had a very good start to the new financial year, with increased production, “even stronger cash flows” and the return of money to shareholders by way of a dividend.
Harmony Gold acquired the other half of the Hidden Valley Mine in Papua New Guinea and submitted the special mining lease application in support of the Golpu project – in support of Harmony’s strategy to grow and improve the quality of its ounces.
Peter Steenkamp, CEO of Harmony Gold, said the company recorded its highest ever quarterly revenue of R5.25 billion, a 9% increase quarter on quarter (16% increase to US$374 million).
“The operations generated positive free cash flow of R850 million ($60 million), allowing us to reduce net debt by 51% from R1 083 million to R528 million (49% decrease from US$74 million to US$38 million), after paying a dividend of R218 million (US$16 million),” Steenkamp said.
Cash operating costs for the September 2016 quarter increased by 12% quarter on quarter in Rand terms (19% increase in USdollar terms), mainly due to an increase in labour costs and higher electricity costs driven by winter tariffs.
“Safe gold production – combined with higher gold prices – means stronger margins. Our commitment to our stakeholders is to ensure that we meet our safety and production targets. We are on track to achieve our annual production guidance of 1.05 Moz,” Steenkamp added.