Newcrest CEO Would Be ‘Happy’ to Buy Harmony’s Wafi-Golpu Stake

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Newcrest Mining Ltd., the world’s third largest gold mining company by market value, said the company would acquire Harmony Gold Mining Co.’s 50 percent stake in the A$4 billion ($4.2 billion) Wafi-Golpu joint venture if it was for sale.

“If they wanted to sell it we’d be happy to buy it,” Greg Robinson, chief executive officer of Melbourne-based Newcrest told reporters today on a conference call. Newcrest hasn’t had any recent talks with Harmony about a potential sale, he said.

Newcrest expects the gold-copper project in Papua New Guinea to produce 600,000 to 800,000 ounces of gold and 300,000 to 500,000 metric tons of copper, it said in a presentation accompanying its full-year results. Production may start in 2017 with total construction costs estimated at A$4 billion, the company said.

The company will pay its share of the project from cash flow from its operations in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and West Africa, Robinson said.

Newcrest reported a record second-half net profit of A$470 million in the six months to June 30, up 23 percent on the same period last year, according to figures derived from full-year earnings posted today and confirmed by the Melbourne-based company. That compares with a forecast of A$523 million from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

Newcrest fell 1.5 percent to A$40.12 at 2:50 p.m. in Sydney trading, trimming gains over the past twelve months to 14 percent.

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