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Above: The Brakpan plant’s second
CIL circuit

Our approach

The new face of mining

DRDGOLD is a mining company with a difference. Although founded as a typical gold mining venture in 1895 at the height of the gold rush – it is the subsequent mergers and acquisitions that have resulted in a very different new millennium business.

DRDGOLD has been producing gold for almost 120 years and we sell our doré gold bars to Rand Refinery Proprietary Limited (Rand Refinery). However, our employees work neither in underground mines nor in open mining pits – and the only underground ounces owned by the company are for sale. Instead, DRDGOLD creates value in a low-risk surface environment, extracting gold from some 1 500 million tonnes (Mt) of tailings that represents the culmination of over a century of extracting activity on the Witwatersrand. Deposited as sand dumps or slimes dams, and colloquially known as mine dumps, the discarded tailings material of bygone days contains minute particles of gold that were inaccessible to recovery processes at the time.

The employees of DRDGOLD’s operating company, Ergo Mining Proprietary Limited (Ergo) – and those of its specialist service companies – work on tailings reclamation sites, in the primary metallurgical plant in Brakpan, where some 1.8Mt of slurry is treated each month, and at the pump stations and all-important tailings deposition site in Brakpan where the “new” discarded material is deposited.

Ergo – an efficient, volume-driven operation – operates around-the-clock to mine tonnes of tailings and turn to account previously discarded gold. In FY2013 the company made use of all its various capitals to produce 8% more gold without compromising safety standards. DRDGOLD delivered on its strategy to create value for shareholders with two dividend payments totalling R107 million.

In this report, we aim to provide more detail on how our strategy, governance, performance and future prospects enable us to create value in the short, medium and long term.