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Harmony Rules Out Wafi-Golpu Sale at Early Stage of Project

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Harmony Gold Mining Co., the South African miner expanding in Papua New Guinea, said it decided against selling its Wafi-Golpu gold-copper venture so early in its development after studying several inquiries and approaches.

“Harmony’s Board of Directors has given careful consideration” to the proposals, the Johannesburg-based company said today in a statement. “The disposal of the company’s Papua New Guinea assets at this early stage of their development will not realize their full potential value.”

Harmony is growing overseas to reduce exposure to South Africa, where it has 90 percent of its gold resources. The company valued Papua New Guinea’s Wafi-Golpu project, a joint venture with Newcrest Mining Ltd., at $6 billion to $8 billion in August, and said a pre-feasibility study may be completed in the first half of 2012.

Harmony rose as much as 1.7 percent to 113.36 rand in Johannesburg trading, and was at 112.21 rand as of 9:28 a.m. local time.

Exploration in Papua New Guinea “continues to deliver promising results,” the company said in the statement, adding that it has sufficient cash flow and financing facilities to fund the completion of drilling and feasibility studies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at sgunnion@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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