JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Debt-free surface gold mining company DRDGold on Wednesday declared an interim dividend of 20c a share for the six months to end December.
The strong finish was attributed mainly to an increase in gold recoveries and a higher average gold price compared with the first three months of the period of the company’s 2022 financial year (FY22).
DRDGold ended the half-year financial period with cash and cash equivalents of R2 239.1-million, after paying a cash dividend of R345.5-million in September 2021.
This enabled the Johannesburg- and New York-listed company to declare the 20c a share, half-year dividend without inhibiting its capital investment programme – “and taking the number of years of uninterrupted dividend yield to 15”, DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius pointed out in a media release to Mining Weekly.
Higher gold recoveries and elevated gold prices contributed to interim headline earnings per share of 58c and free cash inflow of R406.9-million.
Steady performances at Ergo, on the East Rand, and Far West Gold Recoveries, on the Far West Rand, resulted in gold production exceeding forecasts by just over 5 980 oz, softening the impact of the depletion of higher-grade reserves at Ergo and setting the business up favourably to achieve full-year production guidance, the company stated.
Group revenue decreased by 16% to R2 498.5-million compared with the six months ended December 31, mainly owing to a 13% decrease in the average rand gold price received to R863 108/kg as well as a 4% decrease in gold sold to 2 891 kg. Group operating profit decreased by 42% to R832-million from R1 441.8-million, after accounting for cash operating costs, being 11% higher at R1 680.2-million.
SOLAR POWER, STORAGE PROJECT APPROVED
With the view of reducing its carbon footprint as well as addressing the uncertainty of the supply and cost of electricity, the company took the decision to construct a solar power plant and a power storage facility at Ergo.
The board has approved the capital expenditure for the first phase, comprising an upgrade to the existing supply line to the Brakpan/Withok tailings storage facility to an 88 kVA line, the construction of an initial 20 MW photovoltaic plant and ten power storage facilities of 10 MW each.
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