LONGSTANDING chairman of DRDGOLD, Geoffrey Campbell, is to step down from the company’s board on November 30.
Campbell said in a DRDGOLD announcement to the JSE that there was no need for a UK-based chairman at the company given it had become a subsidiary of Sibanye-Stillwater.
He will have served on the DRDGOLD board for 19 years by November.
In January last year, Sibanye-Stillwater exercised an R1bn option to increase its shareholding in DRDGOLD to 50.1%. “With our attention focused on Southern Africa and as a subsidiary of Sibanye-Stillwater, there is little rationale for a UK-based chairman. November would be a natural time to hand over,” said Campbell.
DRDGOLD said Campbell had overseen the disposal of DRDGOLD’s subsidiary, Emperor Mines as part of the strategy to transform from a deep-level underground gold mining company to a surface recycling company.
In 2019, DRDGOLD bought Far West Gold Operations from Sibanye-Stillwater in return for shares. Since then, the company has caught the wave of the improved gold pricing. Shares in DRDGOLD surged 680% in the 12 months ended June 30.
DRDGOLD said in October it wanted to consolidate all surface tailings deposits in South Africa, but said future acquisitions would be measured against security of tenure in the country.
Commenting in DRDGOLD’s 2020 annual report, Campbell said political and economic developments would ultimate direct the firm’s capital allocation plans.
“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,” he said.
“The political outlook in South Africa remains extremely challenging and the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation.”