Mining firm committed


HARMONY Gold, the developer of Hidden Valley mine in Morobe, has affirmed its commitment to invest and grow in Papua New Guinea.
Senior executives from its offices in South Africa were in the country last week, touring company assets and meeting Prime Minister James Marape.
Company financial director Boipelo Lekubo spoke of Harmony’s investment in PNG since 2004 and the company’s pursuit of multiple opportunities in Morobe, one of which was the proposed Wafi-Golpu project.
She said Harmony through its subsidiary companies owned the Hidden Valley mine and 50 per cent of the Wafi-Golpu project, as well as extensive exploration interests in and around Morobe.
Lekubo added that significant capital works associated with Hidden Valley’s life extension were underway and the company continued to assess further investment opportunities in the country.
Lekubo said the Hidden Valley mine proved to be critical to the Harmony Group when all of its South African mines were shut down due to Coronavirus restrictions.
She thanked the Government for the partnership and all stakeholders who had ensured the mine remained viable through challenging times.
She said Harmony had also been encouraged by the recent progress of discussions with the Government regarding Wafi-Golpu.
“We look forward to concluding the permitting of the Wafi-Golpu, enabling us to continue creating shared value for all our stakeholders in PNG.”
Lekubo said by the end of last year, Hidden Valley had paid a total of K179.4 million in royalties.
She said the miner recognised preferential procurement as a national imperative and during the previous financial year Harmony’s total procurements in PNG amounted to K517 million, including K152 million spent with landowner companies.
She said more than 96 per cent of Hidden Valley’s 1,600 permanent workforce were Papua New Guineans, including 29 per cent of senior management and 76 per cent of superintendents; this was continuing to increase through their superintendent and leadership development programmes. “15 per cent of our Hidden Valley workforce is female, including over 24 per cent of truck operators – many of whom have been recruited from our landowner communities,” she said.