JOHANNESBURG – South African gold miner, DRDGold said on Thursday surface gold recovery helped the Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed firm’s first quarter revenue by 15 percent to 41 120 ounces (oz), compared with the 35 732 oz produced in the quarter ended March 31, 2018.

DRDGold, one of the region’s largest producers of the bullion, attributed the higher production mainly to the Far West Gold Recoveries project’s production of 4 790 oz, according to chief executive officer Niël Pretorius. He said the project had a planned ramp-up to 500 000 tonnes a month from Phase 1.

Final commissioning of Phase 1 was expected to be completed before the end of the current financial year. The company further reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of R58-million for the quarter, compared with the adjusted EBITDA of R29 million reported for the March 2018 quarter.

DRD stated that the higher adjusted Ebitda was mainly owing to the four percent increase in the gold price received, coupled with stable cash operating unit costs compared with the previous quarter – in terms of both per ton of material processed and per kilogramme of gold sold.