SOUTH AFRICA – Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed Harmony Gold, which is in the process of introducing 30 MW of own-generation solar power into its electricity mix, has begun the phasing in of the first 10 MW of renewable energy generation.

“Generating our own power from solar power is the way to go,” Harmony Gold Chief Executive Officer Peter Steenkamp said in response to Mining Weekly during a media briefing.

“We’re in the process of introducing 30 MW of power generation on our own solar power. We’ve already started with the first 10 MW of that and we’re very keen to pursue the other 20 MW,” he added.

The gold mining company had also been quite successful over the years in cutting its electricity bill by introducing cost effective electricity usage.

“We’ve got very big projects going at this point in time to improve that and we’ve seen some very, very good results,” Steenkamp said.

“We’re in the process of introducing 30 MW of power generation on our own solar power. We’ve already started with the first 10 MW of that and we’re very keen to pursue the other 20 MW”

Peter Steenkamp – CEO, Harmony Gold

Asked about Harmony’s recent acquisitions and emerging as a market mining specialist, Steenkamp gave this said, “We operate in emerging markets. Both Papua New Guinea and South Africa are emerging markets. We are well positioned in terms of our stakeholder relationships to be able to perform well in emerging-market environments. Obviously, we will perhaps be looking for other areas in the future, but we really believe that we manage mining well in emerging markets,” he said.

On whether the company was still acquisitive, Steenkamp said that considerable low-hanging fruit remained in bringing the gold mines acquired from AngloGold Ashanti into the Harmony systems.

“There are quite a few surface opportunities. There are also underground and other kinds of opportunities. There is still a lot of work to be done. We have only had AngloGold Ashanti’s assets in our hands now for the last four months, and at the moment we are migrating them into the Harmony systems. No further expansions are on the cards at this time. We really have our hands full integrating these assets into our systems,” Steenkamp explained.

On dividends being declared after the company’s net profit soared by 336% to US$381.6 million in the six months to the end of December, Harmony Finance Director Boipelo Lekubo said the dividend policy informing that decision centred on the company having indicated that it would now be paying 20% of net free cash flow to shareholders.

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