Media releases

Chairman, CEO reflect on year’s performance; look to plans, required conditions for future investment

29 October 2020

Johannesburg, South Africa. 29 October 2020. DRDGOLD Limited (DRDGOLD; JSE, NYSE: DRD) Chairman Geoff Campbell, in the company’s Integrated Annual Report (IAR) for FY2020 released today, reflects on a year that saw the company’s market capitalisation reach US$1 billion and says the company will continue 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.”

But Campbell adds: “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.

“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.”

DRDGOLD CEO Niël Pretorius says DRDGOLD will continue to focus on optimising 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:

  • From an operating profit of R1 562.1 million, free cash inflow of R926.4 million was generated; FY2020 marked 13 years of uninterrupted dividend declaration.
  • 5 424 kg of gold were produced from throughput of 26.3 million tonnes at an average yield of 0.206 g/t; Far West Gold Recoveries made its maiden full-year production contribution and planning for Phase 2 was advanced.
  • R54.4 million was spent on environmental management; applications for 26.6ha of land to be cleared for redevelopment were submitted to the National Nuclear Regulator.
  • 25 communities were reached through R32.5 million social and economic development spend.
  • there were no fatalities and the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate and Reportable Injury Frequency Rate were 1.27 and 0.96 respectively.

Total economic value distributed in FY2020 was R3 983 million.

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; longer-term (2027 and beyond), the company is looking to consolidate all surface tailings in South Africa and to international opportunities for surface mining.

Note to editors:

DRDGOLD’s full report suite for FY2020 comprising the IAR, Annual Financial Statements, Notice of Annual General Meeting, Form 20-F and ESG factsheet can be accessed on the company’s website, www.drdgold.com

Forward-looking Statements

Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, among others, adverse changes or uncertainties in general economic conditions in the markets we serve, a drop in the gold price, a sustained strengthening of the Rand against the Dollar, regulatory developments adverse to DRDGOLD or difficulties in maintaining necessary licenses or other governmental approvals, changes in DRDGOLD’s competitive position, changes in business strategy, any major disruption in production at key facilities or adverse changes in foreign exchange rates and various other factors. These risks include, without limitation, those described in the section entitled “Risk Factors” included in our annual report for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2019, which we filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 31 October 2019 on Form 20-F. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this report or to the occurrence of unanticipated events. Any forward-looking statements included in this release have not been reviewed and reported on by DRDGOLD’s auditors.

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James Duncan

R&A Strategic Communications

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james@rasc.co.za