32 051kg (1 030 459oz) for the nine months ended 31 March 2022 from 31 470kg (1 011 778oz) for the nine-month period ended 31 March 2021 (“the comparable period”). Much of this increase was attributable to the additional three months’ production from Mponeng and related assets in this nine-month period compared to only six months’ production in the comparable period.
Gold production during quarter three of financial year 2022 has been particularly challenging with electricity and water supply constraints persisting at our South African operations. With safety as its top priority, Harmony delayed accessing certain higher-grade areas at Moab Khotsong to ensure that these areas were structurally well-supported before mining activities continued and stopped mining in areas impacted by seismicity at Mponeng and Bambanani. Harmony is mining out Bambanani and this operation will be closed at the end of June 2022.
Overall production quarter on quarter was down 11% to 10 131kg (325 719oz) in Q3 FY22 from 11 358kg (365 165oz) in Q2 FY22.
Group cash operating unit cost increased by 14% quarter-on-quarter to R767 292/kg from R672 745/kg (an increase of 16% to US$1 569/oz from US$1 356/oz) – primarily as a result of Hidden Valley. Harmony expects Hidden Valley to return to normalised levels of production in the fourth quarter of FY22.
For the nine months to date, total cash operating costs for the group increased by 14% to R23 952 million from R20 978 million (an increase of 20% to US$1 588 million from US$1 326 million) against the comparable period. Most of the increase is attributable to the acquisition of Mponeng and related assets in financial year 2021 (“FY21”).
Excluding Unisel (which was closed in FY21), and Mponeng and related assets, group cash operating costs increased by only 8% to R19 574 million from R18 092 million (an increase of 13% to US$1 297 million from US$1 143 million).
For the nine months to date, cash operating unit cost for the group increased by 16% to R697 146/kg from R599 910/kg (an increase of 22% to US$1 437/oz from US$1 179/oz) against the comparable period. The unit cost increase was higher than the total cash cost increase due to the abovementioned production challenges.