London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 November 2009 – Harmony Gold Mining Limited “’ Africa’s third-largest producer of the precious metal “’ is planning to close some of its high-cost mines over the next six months, says chief executive Graham Briggs.
Revealing this here in an address to the RBC Gold Conference, he said that Harmony “’ which is the fifth biggest gold producer in the world “’ will shut some mines that are near the end of their lives, as well as others hit by high costs due to the strong rand.
“With the costs you’ve got in underground operations, at grades of 3g/t you battle to make ends meet,” he said. “There will be closures, probably a couple of closures, in the next six months or so."”
Briggs added that the mines most likely to be closed down were relatively small, and produced about 35 000 to 50 000 tonnes of ore per month.
Briggs went on to say that work was progressing with its 40% owned Rand Uranium company, which aimed to produce 2.2 million pounds of uranium a year. There had been interest from third parties on financing a processing plant which would cost R5 billion, with some parties seeking off-take agreements, he added.