[Mining Weekly] -- Dump-retreatment gold miner DRDGOLD, which achieved a 9% rise in operating profit in the 12 months to end June, has increased its dividend by 180%.
Dump-retreatment gold miner DRDGOLD, which achieved a 9% rise in operating profit in the 12 months to end June, has increased its dividend by 180%.
The operating profit of the JSE- and NYSE-listed company, which produced 146 381 oz of gold – 8% more than last year – rose to R679.3-million.
“We will invest substantially in development of social capital; in particular we want to improve our employees’ competence in the area of personal financial management, to curb the associated scourges of over-indebtedness and garnishee orders,” DRDGOLD CEO Niël Pretorius told Mining Weekly Online.
Eight per cent more ore was milled to 23 254 000 t and the recovered grade rose slightly, from 0.195 g/t to 0.196 g/t.
Headline earnings per share rose 11% to 68c a share.
The higher capital expenditure (capex) and a 10% drop in the average fourth-quarter rand gold price received resulted in free cash flow generation falling 53% to R97.9-million.
This cash plus the R165-million of debt raised leaves the company with cash and near-cash of R377.2-million.
The company declared a final dividend of 14c a share, contributing to a total distribution for the year of 28c, up 180% on the previous financial year.
Higher gold production and a 9% improvement in the average rand gold price received to R458 084/kg resulted in revenue increasing 18% to R2 076.5-million.
All-in sustaining unit costs, as defined by the World Gold Council (WGC), rose 10% to R365 569/kg.
Key contributors were the costs associated with the mining of additional sand resources at the Knights plant and above-inflation increases in the cost of labour, electricity and reagents.
The WGC-determined all-in sustaining-costs margin remained at 20%.
Capex was 13% higher at R361.5-million, owing mainly to continued development of the flotation/fine-grind circuit at the Ergo dump-retreatment plant in Brakpan.
“On the technology front, we will look afresh at the potential our new technologies offer in terms of greater scale, both within our existing footprint and further afield,” Pretorius said.
Lower use of potable water and the suppression of dust emissions are being targeted.
The small Cason underground mine in Boksburg has been placed on care and maintenance.
The commissioning of the flotation/fine-grind circuit at Ergo’s Brakpan plant was continuing, with December the targeted completion date.
Negotiations to conclude the sale of the company’s Zimbabwe assets are continuing.