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Debt-free, cash-rich gold-from-waste mining company DRDGold has declared its sixteenth consecutive dividend as it guides higher production, prioritises the ensuring of sufficient tailings storage capacity and looks to the self-generation of 60 MW of solar power.

The Johannesburg- and New York-listed gold-from-dumps company, headed by CEO Niël Pretorius, reported operating profit of R1 819-million for the year ended June 30 and declared a final dividend of R0.65 a share for the 2023 financial year ending June 30.

DRDGold produced 169 820 oz of gold, 180 oz shy of its mid-range guidance of 170 000 oz, at a cash operating cost of R697 382/kg. It paid R515.3-million in dividends, re-invested R1.1-billion in capital expenditure and paid R314.8-million in income tax.

Net cash position moved from R2.53-billion at June 30, 2022, to R2.47-billion at June 30, 2023, allowing R0.20 a share interim dividend top-up by declaring a final cash dividend of R0.65 a share, bringing the total declared dividend 2023 financial year to R0.85 a share.

“We are very pleased with the progress made on the first 20 MW phase of our solar project, which is nearing completion, and over the next two years, a further 40 MW is to be added,” Pretorius stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

A 160 MWh power storage facility, feeding back into the grid and setting up the company to offset power consumption in the rest of the business through wheeling, will also be added.

Higher revenue of R5 496.3-million was moderated by an increase in cash operating costs to R3 688.1-million. 

Cash and cash equivalents of R2 471.4-million compared with R2 525.6-million as at June 30 last year.

Free cash flow of R469.1-million lowered after a R546-million increase to R1 186.5-million in investing activities and the paying of the marginally higher R515.3 million cash dividends. The group remains free of any bank debt.

Higher throughput is expected going forward and higher production at between 165 000 oz and 175 000 oz of gold is guided, with cash operating costs at R770 000/kg and total capital investment of R3.5-billion to reinvest its cash savings in the business.