UPDATE 1-S.Africa's Wits Gold to buy Harmony assets

* Sees significant gold mineralisation at Merriespruit

* Harmony plans to focus on growth projects

(Adds details)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Witwatersrand Cons Gold Resources WGRJ.J said on Tuesday it would acquire Harmony Gold's HARJ.J Merriespruit South area for 61 million rand ($8.5 million) and would start drilling for high-grade gold.

The company said it would also acquire Harmony’s 40 percent option over Wits Gold’s southern Free State assets for 275 million rand, which could be satisfied with its shares.

“These transactions have the potential to deliver significant value to Wits Gold,” the company said in a statement.

The company said it believed the Merriespruit South area was likely to contain significant gold mineralisation and it could operate a shallow/medium to high-grade mine in the area.

Wits Gold said the southern Free State properties contain gold resources in excess of 34 million ounces and gold reserves of 5.4 million ounces.

Harmony CEO Graham Briggs said the transactions were in line with the company’s strategy to focus on its growth projects in South Africa. (Reporting by Shapi Shacinda; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=7.221 Rand)