South African miner Harmony Gold reported a 35 percent rise in full-year profit on Thursday and said it will look at growth, exploration and acquisitions to meet its 2019 production targets.
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The world's fifth largest gold miner increased production, had stronger cash flows and paid shareholders a dividend in the first quarter of its 2017 financial year.
After losing money for three years to 2015, Harmony is now focused on finding mines able to offset falling production at its South African operations.
They will appeal verdict that paved the way for about half a million current and former miners to proceed with a multi-million-dollar suit, which seeks compensation for those who contracted lung diseases.
Harmony Gold has been looking for new assets to meet its goal of increasing production to 1.5 million ounces over the next three years.
The world’s fifth largest gold producer has told a Perth mining forum today that it plans to lift its total output to 1.5 million ounces a year within three years as it combines its increasing output from African and PNG mines.
The class action the firms want to appeal paves the way for thousands of current and former miners suffering from silicosis and tuberculosis to seek damage compensation from the companies.
If the class action goes ahead, it will affect almost every gold mine in South Africa, including their parent companies, covering their conduct over the last 50 years.
They will dispute the country's High Court decision last month to allow a class action suit seeking damages for up to half a million miners who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis.
High Court decision opens the way for up to 500,000 current and former miners to pursue a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against mining companies over respiratory diseases contracted at work.
Experts believe the troubles affecting gold producers in South Africa go way deeper than a slump in prices for the metal or the usual cycles the mining industry experiences.
Talks are set to resume on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
South Africa’s top gold producers believe it is highly likely that unions agree to take the latest pay offer presented to them, marking the end of almost 5 weeks of negotiations.
A geologist by training, the 62 year old executive has been with the company for 20 years.
Companies are keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s five-month platinum strike, but their ability to raise salaries is limited.
Gold producers offered above-inflation wages, which make up 55% of their mining costs in the country.
The companies, which bargain collectively under the country’s Chamber of Mines, are already battling low metal prices and mounting electricity costs amid power outages.
The company had warned it planned to restructure several of its mines, producing almost 25% of its gold, when it posted a third consecutive quarterly loss early May.
The employee was fatally injured in an accident while performing maintenance work on Saturday.
The mine, Harmony's single largest gold producer, will likely remain closed for an indefinite period while a probe is held.
Specially trained rescue teams continue their efforts to save the remaining employees, said the company.
The revised plan for their jointly-owned Wafi-Golpu in PNG will require an initial capital spending cost of $2.3 billion.
The company has begun a 60-day consultation with unions at Kusasalethu mine, its largest operation.