JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Surface gold mining company DRDGold on Thursday reported an 18% quarter-on-quarter increase in adjusted earnings to R389.3-million for the three months to March 31.
The increase reflects a 13% increase in the average rand gold price received to R785 581/kg, the Johannesburg- and New York-listed company headed by CEO Niël Pretorius stated.
An interim dividend to shareholders totalling R213.6-million was paid during the quarter, when external borrowings remained at zero.
In an operating update for the quarter, DRDGold reported 4% lower throughput at 6 560 000 t, which follows its Ergo and Far West Gold Recoveries operations being temporarily halted towards the end of the March quarter owing to the national lockdown.
The yield was also 9% down at 0.205 g/t, resulting in a 13% decline in gold production to 1 346 kg, the company stated.
In anticipation of the national lockdown, inventory was sold down resulting in gold sales for the quarter being only 3% lower at 1 462 kg.
The cash operating cost per ton milled was stable at R101/t in spite of the cash operating cost per kilogram sold rising by 6% to R489 193/kg.
All-in sustaining cost was higher at R577 633/kg and all-in cost also at a higher R588 235/kg owing mainly to an increase in capital expenditure.
Cash and cash equivalents increased by R1 291-million to R1 834.4-million, reflecting free operational cash flow of R422.8-million and proceeds of R1 085.6-million from Sibanye-Stillwater’s share subscription.
Gold production, initially guided for the year to June 30 at between 175 000 oz and 190 000 oz, is expected to track the lower end of that guidance and not the higher end, as previously advised, owing to the impact of Covid-19 to date and continuing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, the company stated in a media release to Mining Weekly.