Dual-listed surface gold miner DRDGold last week declared a dividend of 38c a share for the quarter ended 31 March 2016.

This is the first time since returning to dividend payments that the company has paid a third-quarter dividend – maintaining DRDGold’s uninterrupted nine-year dividend run.

The dividend declared, together with the interim dividend of 12c a share declared on 16 February 2016, makes a total distribution of 50c to date in the 2016 financial year and marks a 400% improvement on the total distribution of 10c a share for the whole of the 2015 financial year.

DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius says the latest dividend underscores the board of directors’ position not to sit on surplus cash but to pay this out to shareholders.

“The very significant weakening of the rand, coupled with higher production and stable costs, pushed our net cash and cash equivalent position up at the end of the third quarter to beyond R410 million,” Pretorius says.

“We do not have any large near-term capital projects to fund and can do this distribution without cutting into our cash buffer.”

After paying a dividend of R51 million, DRDGold ended the quarter with R416 million in cash and cash equivalents, compared with R254 million in the previous quarter.