Media releases

Group gold production maintained

DRDGOLD today reported group gold production of 129 657 ounces (oz) for the quarter ended 31 March 2006 – virtually unchanged from the previous quarter.

Johannesburg, South Africa. 28 April, 2006. DRDGOLD Limited (JSE: DRD; NASDAQ: DROOY; ASX: DRD; POM SoX: DRD) today reported group gold production of 129 657 ounces (oz) for the quarter ended 31 March 2006 – virtually unchanged from the previous quarter.

Gold production from the South African operations increased by 21% to 86 678 oz, reflecting a stronger performance from East Rand Proprietary Mines Limited (ERPM). Gold production from the Australasian operations was 27% lower at 42 979 oz, the major negative impact being planned changes to the West Wall at Porgera in Papua New Guinea.

Group cash operating costs rose by 26% to US$512/oz, reflecting the impact of the lower Australasian gold production on Australasian cash operating costs, which rose by 51% to US$514/oz. South African cash operating costs were 10% higher at US$511/oz.

The average gold price received by the group as a whole was 15% higher at US$561/oz. Group capital expenditure was down 45% at US$6.8 million.

Total gold production at ERPM was 2% higher at 27 006 oz, reflecting an 11% increase in gold production from underground to 20 512 oz. Production from the Cason surface operation was 18% lower at 6 494 oz.

Higher underground gold production resulted from a 1% increase in ore milled to 72 000 t and a 9% increase in yield to 8.86 g/t. Traversing of the 16 m, up-throw fault on the eastern side of the mine is now 90% complete, in-situ grades continue to be very satisfactory and separation of reef and waste underground is substantially improving recoveries.

Planning for the exploration programme of the ERPM extension into the Sallies lease area has been completed and the contract placed. Exploration drilling will begin during May 2006.

Lower gold production from the Cason surface operation resulted from a 14% decrease in throughput to 537 000 t, arising from a mill bearing failure in the ERPM plant, which has been repaired. Yield was unchanged at 0.38 g/t. Commissioning of two additional mills at the Knights plant during the June quarter is expected to significantly improve surface throughput and recovery efficiencies.

Total gold production at Blyvooruitzicht was 8% lower at 36 459 oz due to a 16% decrease in gold production from underground to 25 238 oz. Surface gold production increased by 21% to 11 221 oz.

Underground ore milled rose by 13% to 171 000 t and underground yield was 26% lower at 4.59 g/t. While an increase in tonnage and decline in grade were both anticipated in terms of the new mine plan announced at the end of the previous quarter – implementation of which began during the quarter under review – interception of the Alpha Dyke in the No 5 Shaft high grade area earlier than expected negatively affected output. Drilling to better determine the location and extent of the dyke has begun.

Phase 1 of the No 2 Sub-shaft Project – involving the re-establishment of access to No 2 Shaft from No 5 Shaft and development and stoping of mining areas en route – was completed during the quarter, some three months ahead of schedule.

While heavy rainfall reduced recoveries from the slimes pretreatment project and gold production from this source was 2% lower as a result, gold production from the treatment of rock dump material increased by 90%, resulting in the overall increase in gold production from surface sources.

Gold production from the Crown surface operation as a whole was 18% lower at 23 213 oz, reflecting a 7% decline in ore milled to 1 946 000 t.

Heavy rainfall during January and February 2006 and piping infrastructure failures on the CMR reclamation site and on the residue disposal system impacted negatively on throughput at the Crown plant in particular.

Yield was 12% lower at 0.37 g/t, reflecting depletion of higher grade material from CMR and an increase in production from the lower grade Robertson Deep reclamation site.

Replacement of high-risk sections of the CMR pipeline is scheduled for completion during the fourth quarter and planning for the replacement of one of the two residue pipelines is well advanced.

The Minister of Minerals and Energy has given consent for an application to be made for a mining licence in respect of the Top Star mine dump to the south of Johannesburg’s Central Business District.

An 11% decline in ore milled to 241 000 t and a planned 18% drop in yield to 3.15 g/t arising from increased treatment of stockpile led to a 26% decrease in attributable gold production to 24 410 oz.

Major factors contributing to lower throughput were the continued use of resources for the removal of slip material form the West Wall failure, which is now 36% complete; power outages due to vandalism of pylons, which resulted in the loss of seven days’ production; the disruption of fuel supplies arising from damage to a bridge caused by heavy rains; and a strike by the local workforce during Barrick’s take-over of Placer Dome, resulting in the loss of six full days and six half-days of production.

Gold production was 29% lower at 11 659 oz, reflecting a 13% decline in ore milled to 47 000 t and a 19% drop in yield to 7.70 g/t.

Production was severely affected by the loss of the hydro on two separate occasions – the first when a landslide resulting from excessive rain severed the headrace pipeline and the second when landowners aired an unfounded grievance by blocking the intake. Ten days of production were lost.

Flooding of the main production areas resulting from the same rains forced production to be moved to the upper areas of the mine, with delays incurred due to ordered pumps arriving late on site.

Total development increased by 13% quarter on quarter.

Attributable gold production from Emperor’s Vatukoula mine was 24% lower, reflecting a 25% decline in ore milled to 36 000 t. Yield was 1% higher at 5.97 g/t.

Lower tonnage resulted from restricted access to high-grade areas due to water in-flow, dewatering and deteriorating ground conditions. New support standards have been introduced to improve underground conditions, while de-watering will be addressed through the Accelerated Development and Training Programme which forms part of a new capital project plan.

Over the next 18 months, Emperor will invest F$27 million in capital expenditure.

DRDGOLD’s attributable tons and gold production were also affected by the reduction of its equity holding in Emperor from 45.33% to 39.52% from 5 December 2005.


South Africa
Investor and Media Relations
Ilja Graulich, DRDGOLD
+27 11 219 8707(office)
+27 83 604 0820 (mobile)

James Duncan, Russell & Associates
+27 11 880 3924 (office)
+27 82 892 8052 (mobile)

North America
Investor and Media Relations
Barbara Cano, Breakstone Group International
+1 646 452 2334 (office)

Investor and Media Relations
Paul Downie, Porter Novelli
+61 893 861 233 (office)
+61 414 947 129 (mobile)

United Kingdom/Europe
Investor and Media Relations
Phil Dexter, St James's Corporate Services
+44 20 7499 3916 (office)
+44 779 863 4398

DRDGOLD is an intermediate unhedged gold producer with mines in South Africa as well as Australasia. The company’s production profile is split equally between its highly leveraged SA operations and its low-cost, cash generative offshore mines.

DRDGOLD has primary listings on the Johannesburg (JSE:DRD) and Australian (ASX:DRD) stock exchanges and secondary listings on NASDAQ (DROOY), the London and Port Moresby stock exchanges and the Paris and Brussels Bourses. Its shares are also traded on the regulated unofficial market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Berlin OTC Market.
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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 continuing strengthening of the rand against the dollar, regulatory developments adverse to DRDGOLD or difficulties in maintaining necessary licences 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 2005, which we filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 15 December 2005 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 bligation 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.