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Harmony’s St Helena surface project

Johannesburg. Monday 28 January 2008. Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited (Harmony) is investigating the feasibility of re-mining some of its old tailings dams at its operations in the Welkom area.

The objectives of the project are to re-mine old tailings dams, re-process the tailings to extract gold and consolidate the residue tailings from the processing plant onto three tailings facilities.

Nine historic tailings dams in the Welkom area are being considered as part of this project. The proposed operations in Welkom will process about 240Mt of tailings from these existing tailings dams. The project consists broadly of the following components:

  • Re-mining the nine existing tailings facilities
  • Pipelines to supply water to the re-mining areas, and to transport the slurry to the processing plant
  • Gold to be removed from the slurry at the existing St Helena processing plant.
  • Pipelines to supply water to the processing plant and to transport tailings residue from the processing plant to three tailings deposition facilities.

Graham Briggs, Chief Executive Officer says, “The re-mining of tailings presents an ideal opportunity to consolidate tailings facilities spread across the region into three tailings facilities. This will allow for better management of the facilities and the implementation of stricter control on environmental management, which earlier facilities may not have taken into account during design.”

The reprocessing of tailings is focused on gold extraction. The potential extraction of uranium is still being assessed.

Gold may be reclaimed from the slurry at the existing St Helena processing plant, situated south-west of Welkom. The plant was mothballed almost three years ago and could be brought into production again. It may be expanded to allow for the treatment of the required volumes of slurry.

Several regulatory processes are being conducted, including an Environmental Impact assessment. The purpose of the EIA is to evaluate potential negative and positive environmental and social impacts.

Should the Harmony re-mining project be approved by the authorities, it is expected that construction at these operations will commence towards the end of 2008. It is anticipated that about 130 temporary job opportunities will be created during the construction phase. Furthermore, about 150 permanent jobs are expected to be created by the project over a 20- year period. This is subject to the outcome of the engineering studies.

Three significant benefits that will flow from the proposed project include addressing environmental concerns related to the existing nine tailings dams; consolidating tailings using current best practice and significantly reducing current environmental impacts; and the economic benefit of gold recovery.

Harmony’s successful and profitable tailings project near Virginia, the R41 million Phoenix project, was upgraded to process 500 000 tonnes per month. It is anticipated that the St Helena plant would be a profitable business; capital and working cost estimates are yet to be finalised.

Harmony welcomes stakeholders participation in the EIA process to identify issues of concern and suggestions for enhanced benefits.

For more details contact:

Graham Briggs
Chief Executive Officer
+27(0)11 411 2012
+27 (0)83 265 0274

Amelia Soares
General Manager, Investor Relations
+27 11 411 2314
+27 (0)82 654 9241

Annual report

Integrated annual report 2016
Integrated annual report 2017


Investor brief

Harmony Investor brief, Sep 2017
September 2017 -
Harmony Investor brief

(PDF - 6.5MB)

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