Harmony Gold Mining has completed the acquisition of the Eva copper project in north-west Queensland, Australia, from Copper Mountain Mining for a total consideration of up to $230m.

The deal consideration includes a contingent payment of $60m.

With the acquisition, Harmony will add 1.72 billion pounds of copper and 260,000oz of gold to its mineral reserves and extend its diversification into copper.

Currently, Harmony is carrying out a detailed review of the existing feasibility study of the Eva copper project.

Over a period of up to 12 months, Harmony plans to complete the project review process to determine the most effective way to execute and finance the project development.

Harmony CEO Peter Steenkamp said: “The conclusion of this acquisition marks the beginning of our strategic diversification into copper, a future-facing metal. Eva Copper will further de-risk the business as it provides entry into a Tier 1 jurisdiction, counter-cyclical diversification of revenue and meets Harmony’s investment criteria.

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“In addition, Eva Copper is a fully permitted project and meets all environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements, demonstrating responsible stewardship.”

The Eva Iron Oxide Copper gold deposit and its related tenements cover an area of 2,295km² within the North West Minerals Province in Queensland.

Commenting on the agreement, which was signed in October 2022, Copper Mountain chief financial officer Letitia Wong said: “This transaction strengthens our balance sheet and allows the company to evaluate options with respect to our long-term capital structure.

“Further, as our recently announced life of mine plan demonstrates, the Copper Mountain Mine is expected to generate healthy free cash flow starting in 2023 and we expect mine operations and the 65,000tpa expansion to be self-funded going forward.”