DRDGOLD Limited (NYSE:DRD) (JSE:DRD) chairman Geoff Campbell told shareholders Thursday that its market capitalization reached US$1 billion in the fiscal year 2020 as the gold producer continues to be the pre-eminent surface retreatment operator in South Africa.
“We have built a vast store of knowledge and we continue to develop our skills in moving huge tonnages of materials safely and efficiently and working to maximise recovery and minimise cost,” Campbell said in the company’s Integrated Annual Report (IAR) for FY2020.
“The political outlook in South Africa remains extremely challenging and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. There remains considerable mineral wealth that can be extracted from mine dumps and not just for the benefit of shareholders but also for the benefit of local communities, South Africa as a whole and for the environment.”
Campbell added: “The sizeable investment decisions DRDGOLD will be considering in the future will need to be weighed up against the risk of political instability and expropriation of land without compensation.”
CEO Niël Pretorius said DRDGOLD will continue to focus on optimizing its reserve base, extending its life of mine and creating further resilience through better, more extensive use of technology and data.
The company’s IAR reflects in detail on the company’s performance in FY2020 against five criteria – financial, operational and growth, environmental, social, and health and safety.
An operating profit of R1,562.1 million (US$95 million) and free cash inflow of R926.4 million (US$56 million) were generated. And FY2020 marked 13 years of uninterrupted dividend declaration.
The company also said 5,424 kilograms of gold were produced from throughput of 26.3 million tonnes at an average yield of 0.206 grams per ton; Far West Gold Recoveries made its maiden full-year production contribution and planning for Phase 2 was advanced.
DRGGOLD said R54.4 million (US$3.29 million) was spent on environmental management and applications for 26.6 hectares of land to be cleared for redevelopment were submitted to the National Nuclear Regulator. Also, 25 communities were reached through R32.5 million (US1.98 million) social and economic development spending.
On its short-term strategic outlook (2020-2021), DRDGOLD anticipates using ‘big data” as the next step in ‘cracking the code’ and to develop models in terms of integrated, sustainable tailings management solutions. Long term (2027 and beyond), the company said it is looking to consolidate all surface tailings in South Africa and to international opportunities for surface mining.
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