Media releases

DRDGOLD leadership reflects on FY2022’s performance and the journey to reversing the environmental impacts of mining

Johannesburg, South Africa. 28 October 2022. DRDGOLD Limited (JSE: DRD, NYSE: DRD) Chairman Tim Cumming, and CEO, Niël Pretorius, in their joint leadership review in the Company’s Annual Integrated Report (AIR) for FY2022 released today, reflect on the Company’s operating and financial performance, and on the task of remaining financially strong despite various challenges.

Stakeholders are paying ever-increasing attention to ESG, on environmental and social delivery and governance. DRDGOLD’s business model of retreating mine tailings, and its commitment to sustainable development has positioned it favourably to deliver compelling value in this regard, beyond the financial. South Africa, where the Company’s operations are located, has its own unique political, economic and social challenges and risks, which require appropriate, proactive mitigation and responses to ensure the Company’s sustainability. It also signals the strategic need for further diversification over time.

They explain that production for the year was satisfactory, coming in at the higher end of guidance at   5 720kg. This was 3kg lower than FY2021, benefiting gold unit costs which were in line with guidance. Although the Rand gold price was down from 2021, it remained favourable and was still 30% up over five years. 

They are quoted as saying, “We remain as committed as ever to our vision of playing a meaningful and growing role in the drive to roll back the environmental legacy of mining through our various strategic focus points”.

DRDGOLD increased the contribution in tonnes from mechanically reclaimed material from several legacy sites which the Company took on two years ago as part of a ‘loose-ends’ programme to bring these sites to final clean-up in line with its stated purpose.

“A part of mining that has become very prominent in the recent past, and for good reason, is tailings storage management. Because of its potential impact on quality of life, safety and the broader environment, greater transparency and adherence to a growing body of internationally endorsed standards have become the order of the day. This year saw the introduction of an External Tailings Review Panel, replacing our former review board, and ongoing enhancement of our line-of-sight management system through interactive, digital technology,” they comment.

DRDGOLD produces gold from discarded tailings using mostly grey water – a process that is waste neutral with a slight footprint in terms of potable water consumption. It removes tailings from where it was dumped, cleaning up the environment, removing a source of pollution and dust, and improving the quality of life for those who live near its workings. The land cleared this year takes the total area cleared by the Company over the past 10 years to a total area of 710 hectares.

The DRDGOLD AIR reflects in detail on the Company’s performance in FY2022 against five criteria – financial, operational and growth, environmental, social, and health and safety:

  • From an operating profit of R1 685.1 million, free cash inflow of R871.6 million was generated
  • 15 years of uninterrupted dividend declaration
  • 5 720kg of gold were produced from throughput of 28.2 million tonnes at an average yield of 0.203g/t
  • R584.1 million was invested in capital projects
  • R60.3 million was spent on environmental management and 24ha of land was cleared with the National Nuclear Regulator for redevelopment
  • R52.9 million was spent on social and economic development
  • No fatalities were recorded, and the lost time injury frequency rate and reportable injury frequency rate were 1.84 and 0.66 respectively
  • More than 99.6% of employees and contractors fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  •  Daggafontein TSF has been classified as a Mineral Reserve from a Mineral Resource
  • Commencement of Phase 1 of the solar project at Ergo

On its short-term strategic outlook (2022-2023), DRDGOLD will continue its focus on Ergo and FWGR to set up the business for the next growth phase. The business will achieve this by ensuring cash generation, cost control in a high-inflation environment and efficiency.

Note to editors:
DRDGOLD’s full report suite for FY2022 comprising the AIR, Annual Financial Statements, Notice of Annual General Meeting, Form 20-F and ESG fact sheet can be accessed on the Company’s website, Reports and Results.

Forward-looking statements

Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, among others, adverse changes or uncertainties in general economic conditions in the markets we serve, a drop in the gold price, a prolonged strengthening of the Rand against the Dollar, regulatory developments adverse to DRDGOLD or difficulties in maintaining necessary licences or other governmental approvals, changes in DRDGOLD’s competitive position, changes in business strategy, any major disruption in production at key facilities or adverse changes in foreign exchange rates and various other factors.

These risks include, without limitation, those described in the section entitled “Risk Factors” included in our Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2022, which we filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 28 October 2022. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this report or the occurrence of unanticipated events. Any forward-looking statement included in this report has not been reviewed or reported on by DRDGOLD’s auditors.

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