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JOHANNESBURG, May 11 (Reuters) - South African miner Harmony Gold HARJ.J on Tuesday reported a jump in third-quarter core profit, boosted by higher output and a strong gold price, positioning the miner to pursue growth.
Firmer bullion prices XAU= have helped miners' profits soar despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with the company receiving a 16% higher average gold price during the quarter of $1,708 per ounce.
The Johannesburg-listed miner said it was well positioned for its growth strategy with the higher gold price strengthening its balance sheet and boosting cash with operating free cash flow for the nine months ended March 2021 up 78% to 5.297 billion rand ($377 million).
"The company has a pipeline of cash-enhancing projects which will boost its cash flow margins and sustain its production for many years to come," Harmony said.
Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) rose 360% to 9.439 billion rand for the quarter.
The gold miner said production increased to 1,124,274 ounces from 990,691 ounces the same period a year earlier.
However, all-in sustaining costs rose 16% to $1,416 per ounce driven by higher royalties and COVID-19 and safety related costs.
Harmony lowered its annual production guidance to between 1.50 million to 1.55 million ounces from 1.56 to 1.6 million ounces due to major repair work and maintenance at its Hidden Valley operations in Papua New Guinea.
The miner maintained its annual underground grade and overall cost guidance.
($1 = 14.0563 rand)
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