Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV), a partnership between Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining, says it will open two new mines in Papua New Guinea.

The mines will be distinct from their operations at Hidden Valley and will support MMJV’s exploration work at Golpu and other regional work, general manager exploration Bernard Kavanamur said.

At Golpu MMJV is conducting conceptual studies on the method of mining and hopes to capitalise on the current rise in metal prices to exploit the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, according to The National.

The company says it hopes it can act as a stand-alone mine with the objective of finding a second mine to do the same.

At Hidden Valley MMJV will try to prolong the mine’s ten-year life, back the expansion through extra resources and conversion to reserves and to further unearth high-grade ore zones to support the ore feed.

At Wafi MMJV aims to unlock the value of the mineral reserves, which is estimated at nearly ten million ounces of gold.

MMJV also aims to find new gold and copper reserves through exploration and to carry out studies to back the establishment of a new mine.

There are more than 83 million ounces of silver at Hidden Valley.

MMJV’s operations in the Morobe province comprise 3,000km2, which cover the mining lease for Hidden Valley and 13 exploration licences.