Golpu capex to drop

HARMONY Gold CEO Graham Briggs has hinted that the upcoming prefeasibility study for its Golpu joint venture with Newcrest Mining in Papua New Guinea will have positive economics.
Golpu capex to drop Golpu capex to drop Golpu capex to drop Golpu capex to drop Golpu capex to drop

The 2012 PFS into a Golpu underground development returned capital costs of $US4.8 billion ($A5.3 billion) for a block cave operation producing 400,000 ounces of gold and 250,000 tonnes of copper per annum for the first 15 years.

But since then, 50:50 partners Harmony and Newcrest have committed to a feasibility study into an exploration shaft to further evaluate the underground potential of the project and an updated PFS into a smaller start-up mine.

"We realised big capital projects aren't in favour," Briggs told the Denver Gold Forum overnight.

Instead, the PFS is looking into sub-level stoping to target higher grade ore at a rate of 2.5-5Mtpa.

The idea is to build a "modular" mine with lower initial capital costs.

"Something that can be expanded in time," Briggs said.

The updated PFS is due to be released before the end of the year and Briggs said the capital costs would be "dramatically less".

He said the start-up costs would be more achievable and Harmony would hope to fund its share from internal cashflow.

"Everyone has got in their minds the PFS of 2012 which had massive capital costs," he said.

"Once you see the figures, there won't be an issue on funding."

The total combined Wafi-Golpu resource is 28 million ounces of gold and 9.06 million tonnes of copper but the partners have set an exploration target of 40Moz and 15Mt copper.

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