M&A

Harmony starts US$200M placement to buy AngloGold assets

Harmony Gold Mining has kicked off its planned share placement to raise US$200 million as part of its acquisition of AngloGold Ashanti’s assets in South Africa.

Staff reporter
 Harmony Gold Mining is acquiring AngloGold Ashanti’s assets in South Africa including the Mponeng gold mine

Harmony Gold Mining is acquiring AngloGold Ashanti’s assets in South Africa including the Mponeng gold mine

The pair had announced the circa $300 million deal for the Mponeng gold mine and Mine Waste Solutions in February, comprising a $200 million cash payment and a potential $100 million in compensation related to underground ounces produced. 

Harmony CEO Peter Steenkamp had indicated last month the deal might be delayed but not derailed by COVID-19, after Mponeng was suspended in May as 196 positive cases were identified at the world's deepest gold mine. 

"The placing is being conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding process which will be launched immediately following the release of this announcement," Harmony said yesterday.

Harmony said JP Morgan Securities was acting as sole global coordinator and was joint bookrunner together with Absa Bank.

The price would be determined at the close of the bookbuild, the miner said.

Harmony is aiming to consolidate its position as South Africa's primary gold producer.

The country's mines were allowed to return to 100% capacity from June 1 following months of restrictions designed to halt the spread of the global pandemic.

However Harmony said yesterday it expected a return to 100% of production by mid-July "assuming no further negative impacts due to COVID-19 lockdown provisions".

"The build-up of the company's South African underground mines to the permitted 50% of labour capacity from mid-April 2020 through May 2020 resulted in an increase in gold sales from the South African operations from approximately 1 tonne in April 2020 to approximately 1.7 tonnes in May 2020," Harmony said.

The company said its Hidden Valley gold mine in Papua New Guinea had continued to operate at close to normal levels during the period.

Harmony withdrew its FY20 production guidance of 1.4 million ounces due to COVID-19 uncertainties in May. 

Harmony shares are trading towards the upper end of a one-year range but closed down 1.5% to 6,077c yesterday, to capitalise it about ZAR32.6 billion (US$1.9 billion).

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