Niel Pretorius
Johannesburg, South Africa — 25 April 2013 – DRDGold “’ a mid-tier, unhedged, South African gold producer and a world leader in surface gold tailings retreatment “’ has reported “better than average” gold production in the quarter ended March 31, 2013.   
“As the new Crown/Ergo pipeline continues to settle, we are starting to increasingly understand Ergo’s current Brakpan carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuit in our quest to achieve steady-state performance,” CEO Niel Pretorius said in a statement quoted by Fin24.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) in Q3 of the 2013 financial year were 17% higher at 14 cents, compared with Q3 of FY2012. Operating profit was up 5%, at R170.7 million, after net operating costs of R360.3 million had been accounted for. And free cash flow was up 16% to R85.7 million.

In the first nine months of FY2013, gold production was 7% higher at 110,822 ounces when compared with the first nine months of the previous year.

“Together with a higher rand gold price of R466,506/ kg, this delivered a 20% rise in gold revenue to R1,638.4  million,” Pretorius said.

Cash operating costs had been well-contained to US1,091/oz, representing a 1% increase.

Operating profit was 15% higher at R583.1 million, which yielded a 51% increase in HEPS to 59 cents.

Pretorius said that as the company moved into the commissioning phase of a new flotation/fine-grind circuit at Ergo’s Brakpan plant, it was “cautiously optimistic about the project’s ability to deliver into targeted operating and financial performance”.

Meanwhile, as capital commitments approached an end, it was necessary to remain focused on maximising the operating and financial capabilities of the Brakpan plant’s CIL circuit. A key element of the circuit was improved productivity at operational and individual employee level, Pretorius added.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.