Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 July 2008 – Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited (Harmony) – the fifth largest gold producer in the world – will be going ahead with its joint venture for the R2.7 billion Hidden Valley gold mine in Papua New Guinea.
A news release issued here confirmed that acting Papua New Guinea prime minister and minister for mines Puka Temu had approved the joint venture arrangements between Harmony and Newcrest Mining Limited (Newcrest) – Australia’s biggest gold producer.
The ministerial approval paves the way for the conclusion of formalities between the two companies, and the development of the joint venture interests in Papua New Guinea. These include the Hidden Valley gold mine, which is expected to commence production in mid-2009, as well as the highly prospective Wafi Golpu copper/gold deposit.
Hidden Valley is expected to produce 185 000 oz pa of gold and 3.8 Moz pa of silver. Life of mine has been calculated at 10.3 years.
The release went on to advise shareholders that all conditions precedent to the joint venture agreement – which included regulatory and statutory approvals by the PNG Government – had now been met. Stage 1 completion (which involved Newcrest acquiring a 30.01% interest) was expected to occur in early August, 2008.
Newcrest brings significant technical skills to the joint venture, including areas of exploration, project delivery and large scale mining, and adds substantially to the development potential of the joint venture’s PNG assets.
Harmony CEO Graham Briggs commented: “We are pleased with the ministerial approval which will pave the way for the conclusion of all conditions precedent. Not only does the joint venture augur well for both companies, but it will also provide broader employment opportunities and corporate social investment for Papua New Guinea”.