DRDGOLD Chairman Geoff Campbell, in the Company’s Annual Integrated Report (AIR) for FY2021, reflects on a year that saw the Company deliver a solid operating performance which – together with the high gold price – resulted in exceptional financial results.
DRDGOLD was placed first at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies awards last year for the company that generated the highest return to shareholders compared to other JSE-listed peers.
But Campbell adds:
“Operating through the COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge amount of stress on everyone as we deal with the unprecedented disruption and uncertainty as to how this pandemic will finally be brought under control.
“DRDGOLD has worked diligently to put in place measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 and keep our workforce safe.
“The Company continues to literally change the face of South Africa. We are moving almost 30 million tonnes of dump material every year. That equates to a tonne of material, every second of every day. It is being moved away from residential areas where it has the potential to spread dust and cause other environmental hazards to a safe and contained facility.
“We operate some of the biggest tailing facilities in the world to contain the material that we treat.
“We have concluded definitive feasibility studies for a huge tailings retreatment investment in the West Rand, along with power generation and storage projects in the East Rand, that will improve the economics of our operations and reduce our carbon footprint.”
DRDGOLD CEO Niël Pretorius says: “DRDGOLD has been very disciplined in its capital investment strategy to provide both resilience during the downcycle and opportunity during the upcycle.”
The DRDGOLD AIR reflects in detail on the Company’s performance in FY2021 against five criteria – financial, operational and growth, environmental, social, and health and safety:
- From an operating profit of R2 170.7 million, free cash inflow of R1 126.8 million was generated
- R640.9 million paid in dividends, marking 14 years of uninterrupted dividend declaration
- 5 723kg of gold were produced from throughput of 29.1 million tonnes at an average yield of 0.197g/t
- R452.1 million was paid in income tax and R223.2 million in PAYE
- R395.7 million was invested in capital projects
- The Far West Gold Recoveries (FWGR) copper elution plant project was completed
- R105 million was spent on environmental management and 87.6ha of land were lodged with the National Nuclear Regulator for approval for redevelopment
- R48.9 million was spent on social and economic development in 25 communities
- No fatalities were recorded, and the lost time injury frequency rate and reportable injury frequency rate were 0.80 and 0.40 respectively
Total economic value distributed in FY2021 was R4 331 million.
On its short-term strategic outlook (2021-2022), DRDGOLD anticipates continuing 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 and efficiency, as well as obtaining regulatory approvals for the development of solar photovoltaic and battery storage facilities. The Company will also look to obtain regulatory approvals for Ergo and FWGR for the Withok Tailings Storage Facility extension and the Regional Tailings Storage Facility building respectively.