Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 May 2010 – Harmony Gold Mining Company “’ the world’s 5th-largest listed gold miner “’has missed market consensus and swung into a headline loss per share in the March quarter, due to lower output and higher production costs.
In a statement released here, Harmony “’ ranked No. 3 in Africa with most of its mines in South Africa “’ said production had been hit by safety-related stoppages and shaft closures, but that it would focus on boosting output, enhancing gold grades and cutting costs.
The company was expected by analysts to post 22 cents in headline earnings per share “’ the key profit measure in South Africa, stripping out capital, non-trading and some extraordinary items “’ after reporting headline EPS of 49 cents in the December quarter.
Gold production was 10% lower at 333 276 ounces, with total cash costs up about 4% to US$829 per ounce.
Harmony CEO Graham Briggs said the company would seek new avenues to grow, and added that it was bullish about the gold price, which fell more than half a percent yesterday, trading just above US$1 200 an ounce.
"We will progress our developmental projects “’ our key growth drivers “’ and pursue further, longer-term growth through acquisition and exploration,” he said in a statement. “We remain bullish about the gold market and the gold price.”
Briggs said the rand’s strength continued and it was uncertain whether it would remain at its current levels.
Bigger rivals AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields “’ ranked 3rd- and 4th-largest gold minersin the world and the top two in the continent respectively “’ posted weaker earnings in results issued last week.
The gold mining companies are expected to face a rough ride in the June quarter due to higher electricity tariffs and a new revenue-based royalty that will add to their cost base.