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DRDGold has reported a 15% quarter-on-quarter increase in gold production to 1 279kg, for the quarter ending 31 March 2019.

The increase was due primarily to an 11% increase in tonnage throughput to 6 373 000t as the first phase of DRDGold’s Far West Gold Recoveries (FWGR) operation ramps up towards the planned throughput of 500 000tpm.

Final commissioning of FWGR Phase 1 is expected before the end of the current financial year.

Overall yield increased by 4% to 0.201g/t due to higher grade material being processed at FWGR, as well as to improved yield at DRDGold’s Ergo operation.

Doubling of EBITDA

A 100% increase in adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to R58.3 million was due mainly to a 4% improvement in the average gold price received to R588 025/kg, coupled with stable cash operating unit costs in terms of both per ton of material processed (R100) and per kilogram of gold sold (R509 205).

DRDGold’s adjusted EBITDA for the quarter does not reflect the revenues and production costs of FWGR. These are included in the capital expenditure of the project until final commissioning is completed.

All-in costs of R563 539/kg include growth capital expenditure incurred. All-in costs were lower due to the growth capital for FWGR Phase 1 being largely incurred to 31 December 2018.

Cash and cash equivalents decreased from R209.4 million to R169.0 million while external borrowings decreased from R173.3 million to R17 million.