Harmony Gold has said that its joint venture with Newcrest Mining will proceed with a $150m pre-feasibility study at the Wafi-Golpu copper-gold project in Papua New Guinea.

The Wafi-Golpu project could contain 30 million ounces of gold and eight million tons of copper.

The study is expected to be completed towards the end of 2011 or early 2012.

Harmony Gold CEO Graham Briggs said that mine development is expected to cost $3bn.

Harmony and Newcrest plan to increase production at the Wafi-Golpu mine to 250,000 ounces of gold and 3.5 million ounces silver annually.