Harmony Gold Mining has reported a 1% drop in its production to 305,913oz for the December 2013 quarter.

The company reduced its all-in sustaining costs for the period to $1,222 per ounce from $1,264 per ounce in the September quarter.

The costs are lower than the R400,000 per kilogramme, which the company’s 2014 financial year strategic planning is based on.

By the end of June this year, Harmony Gold plans to reduce its costs to a sustainable average of between $1,100 per ounce and and $1,150 per ounce.

The company said that operating profit for the quarter was 5% lower than in the previous quarter at $97m, due to a 3% decrease in the gold price received, as well as under-performance in production, mainly at Kusasalethu.

Underground recovered grade improved by 7% to 4.85g per tonne for a third consecutive quarter.

Harmony said that five of its mines, Target 1, Bambanani, Joel, Steyn 2 and Phoenix, are operating at an all-in sustaining cost of less than $1,000 per ounce.

Three of the company’s mines, Kalgold, Unisel and Hidden Valley, are operating at an all-in cost of below $1,210 per ounce.

Harmony Gold is planning to drive costs down to below $1,250 per ounce at Doornkop, Kusasalethu, Masimong, Phakisa, Target 3 and Tshepong.

Harmony Gold Mining chief executive officer Graham Briggs said the company’s strength has always been its ability to adjust quickly and efficiently to adverse conditions.

"We have positioned the company to remain sustainable for many years to come, managing costs and production to ensure profitability at all gold prices," Briggs said.