Harmony Gold Mining Company, South Africa’s third-largest bullion producer, has increased its production by approximately 6% in the first quarter of financial year 2015 – in line with its annual production guidance.

Chief executive officer, Graham Briggs, commented: “Harmony is strengthening its margins through increasing its gold production. We continued to increase our underground grade, with a 4% rise quarter on quarter.”

Harmony’s results for the first quarter FY15 ended 30 September 2014 will be released on Wednesday, 5 November 2014.

At the same time, more details are expected to be released on the deal that Harmony has struck with White Rivers Exploration to jointly explore and develop its gold and uranium Beisa prospect in the Free State, which is next to Harmony’s Target mine.

The underground Beisa project has multiple reef targets and is at depths of between 1.4km and 2.2km. Sibanye Gold may also extract the Beisa reefs at its Beatrix mines in the Free State, with a pre-feasibility study for an on-site uranium processing plant already underway.

The agreement between Harmony Gold and White Rivers Exploration confirms Harmony CEO Graham Briggs intentions to seek out new opportunities for growth in both South Africa and other parts of the continent.

Briggs has recently said Harmony is on the lookout for any mines that more indebted companies may be looking to sell, adding that AngloGold’s South African operations are “an obvious choice. Almost all of our assets are ex-AngloGold assets.

“The best time to sell those assets is when there’s still some meat on the bone. You don’t want to run it into the ground and then try and sell it because then nobody’s going to buy it. We’ve got that proven track record of squeezing more out of an asset.”

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