JSE-listed surface miner DRDGold has noted a 7% quarter-on-quarter improvement in gold production to 46 587 oz for the three months ended September 30 – the first quarter of its 2022 financial year.
The increase in output is mainly attributable to an 8% increase in yield to 0.195 g/t gold, compared with a yield of 0.181 g/t gold achieved in the preceding quarter.
The company posted adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of R350-million in the reporting quarter, compared with Ebitda of R303-million posted in the prior quarter, owing to higher gold sales and an increase in the average rand gold price received.
DRDGold’s sales were 5% higher quarter-on-quarter at 45 912 oz.
Although increases in electricity and labour costs, effective from July, resulted in higher cash operating costs, the increase in the number of gold units produced and sold resulted in a 5% decrease in cash operating costs per kilogram of gold sold to R566.317/kg, or $1 204/oz.
The cash operating cost per ton of material processed increased by 6% to R114/t, or $8/t.
The cash generated during the quarter under review will be applied towards DRDGold’s extended capital expenditure (capex) programme for the financial year ending June 30, 2022.
Despite the capex planned for the financial year, the company remains in a favourable position to, in the absence of unforeseen events, consider declaring an interim cash dividend in or around February 2022.