DRDGOLD Limited, in an update for the quarter ended 31 March 2019, reported a 15% quarter-on-quarter rise in gold production to 1 279kg. This was due primarily to an 11% increase in tonnage throughput to 6 373 000t as the first phase of the company’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 the Ergo operation.
A 100% increase in adjusted EBITDA 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).
The 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-million while external borrowings decreased from R173.3-million to R17-million.
The information in this announcement does not constitute an earnings forecast. The financial information provided is the responsibility of the directors of DRDGOLD and such information has not been reviewed or reported on by the company’s auditors.