JOHANNESBURG – DRDGold, the gold tailings retreatment company, on Wednesday, berated Eskom for production losses as disruptions rocked operations and operating profit halved in the six months to December.
The listed company, which has fallen more than 3 percent on the JSE, blamed Eskom for the 3 percent production decline in the period under review a day after Harmony Gold Mining Company flagged the state-owned power utility’s proposed 15 percent tariff increase would cripple its mines and place jobs at risk.
DRDGold chief executive Niël Pretorius, said yesterday that production at the company’s Ergo mine in Brakpan, east of Joburg, fell 3 percent after being hard hit by the Eskom crisis.
Pretorius added that Ergo’s lower throughput was a consequence mainly from major power interruptions experienced over 11 days during the second quarter of the 2018 financial year, caused by a fire at an Eskom sub-station, a lightning strike on the Brakpan tailings complex transformer yard and load-shedding by the Joburg municipality.
“Sadly, the once mighty Eskom is now Ergo’s single biggest risk factor,” Pretorius said.