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The processing facilities and water filtration beds at the Ergo gold recovery plant, run by DRDGold, as seen from the air in Brakpan. Picture: BLOOMBERG
The processing facilities and water filtration beds at the Ergo gold recovery plant, run by DRDGold, as seen from the air in Brakpan. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Cash-flush DRDGold, one of the world’s largest gold tailings retreatment companies, says its core profit dipped in its third quarter amid rising costs and a decline in production, but it remains on track to shell out a final dividend.

The group, which is debt free, said adjusted core profit fell 3% to R367.3m in the three months to end-March, from the previous quarter, with gold prices rising 3% in rand terms, while cash operating costs per tonne rose 8%.

Gold production decreased by 3% from the previous quarter to 1,391kg primarily due to a 5% decrease in tonnage throughput, offset slightly by higher yields.

DRDGold comprises two subsidiaries — Ergo, about 50km east of Johannesburg in Brakpan, and Far West Gold Recoveries, near Carletonville, west of Johannesburg.

The company uses chemical processes to recover residue metal from the retreatment of surface tailings left over from mining, processing vast quantities of material.

DRDGold did not elaborate on the drivers behind rising costs on Wednesday, but other miners have reported rising energy and labour costs, as well higher costs for inputs such as chemicals.

The group, valued at R10.94bn on the JSE, had a net cash of R2.309bn at the end of March, up R70.4m from the end of December. 

“The company remains in a favourable position to, in the absence of unforeseen events, consider declaring a final cash dividend in or around August 2022,” it said in a statement.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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