In its operating update for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, DRDGOLD’s gold production increased by 7% from the previous quarter to 1,449kg primarily due to an 8% increase in yield. Gold sold increased by 5% to 1,428kg.
Although increases in electricity and labour costs with effect from July 2021 resulted in higher cash operating costs, the increase in the number of gold units produced and sold resulted in a 5% decrease in cash operating costs per kilogram of gold sold to R566,317/kg. The cash operating cost per ton of material processed increased by 6% to R114/t.
All-in sustaining costs per kilogram and all-in costs per kilogram were R648,880/kg and R667,157/kg, respectively, decreasing quarter on quarter mainly due to a decrease in sustaining capital expenditure.
Adjusted EBITDA increased by 16% from the previous quarter to R350.8 million primarily due to a 5% increase in gold sold and a 2% increase in the average Rand gold price received.
Payment of the final dividend declared for the year ended 30 June 2021 of R345.2 million and negative working capital changes of R173.5 million at 30 September 2021 reduced cash and cash equivalents by R276.8 million to R1,903.2 million at 30 September 2021 (30 June 2021: 2,180 million). External borrowings remained at Rnil as at 30 September 2021 (30 June 2021: Rnil).
The cash generated during the current quarter will, inter alia, be applied towards the Company’s extended capital expenditure programme for the financial year ending 30 June 2022. Despite the capital expenditure planned for the financial year, the Company remains in a favourable position to, in the absence of unforeseen events, consider declaring an interim cash dividend in or around February 2022.