Harmony pays R1bn towards debt

HARMONY Gold has made large strides in paying down its debt by making a R1-billion payment towards its dollar and rand denominated debt, the company said yesterday.

Harmony, which has looming demands on its cash from its Golpu copper and gold deposit it shares with Australia’s Newcrest Mining in Papua New Guinea, paid $50-million (R720-million) on its $250-million (R3.6-billion) revolving credit facility and R400-million towards its R1.3-billion rand facility.

Harmony chief financial officer Frank Abbott said early last month the restructuring of its South African gold mines to drive profitability would enable Harmony to repay R4-billion of debt in the next two years and fund $150-million (R2.1-billion) of its share of early stage work at Golpu.

The weakening of the rand against the dollar has boosted cash flows from the South African mines, which provide more than 90% of Harmony’s annual gold output.

“Our hard work is finally paying off, enabling us to reduce our debt, strengthen our balance sheet and provide us with even more certainty that we can fund the Golpu project,” Harmony chief executive Graham Briggs said.

Briggs leaves Harmony at the end of the year.

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