KhumoGold will acquire from DRDGOLD a further 60 000 ordinary shares in DRDGOLD South African Operations (Pty) Limited (DRDGOLD SA) for R4.3 million. After exercising the option, KhumoGold’s shareholding in DRDGOLD SA will increase by 5% to 20%.
In addition, KhumoGold – as promoter for an employee trust – will exercise the option for an employee trust to acquire from DRDGOLD 60 000 ordinary shares in DRDGOLD SA for a consideration of R5.07 million. The trust’s shareholding in DRDGOLD SA will be 6%.
The employee trust, subject to further discussion with employee representatives, is intended to benefit a broad group of predominantly historically disadvantaged employees within DRDGOLD SA. The terms on which these benefits are to be managed and distributed will be the subject of consultation between representatives of KhumoGold and employee representatives.
DRDGOLD will vendor finance the transaction on condition that the terms of the vendor finance are determined by independent experts Ernst and Young to be fair and reasonable to the shareholders of DRDGOLD. It is proposed that DRDGOLD will subscribe for preference shares in KhumoGold on the one hand, and extend a loan to the trustees of the trust on the other.
The options to be exercised by KhumoGold are the second step of a two-step extension announced in October 2005 to DRDGOLD’s BEE joint venture with Khumo Bathong Holdings (Pty) Limited (KBH) in Crown Gold Recoveries (CGR). In terms of the JV, CGR – comprising East Rand Proprietary Mines Limited (ERPM) and the Crown surface operations – was 60% held by KBH and 40% by DRDGOLD.
In the first step to the extension, which the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) facilitated by agreeing to a debt restructuring of the JV, KhumoGold acquired a 15% stake in DRDGOLD SA, a newly created vehicle comprising ERPM, the Crown surface operations and Blyvooruitzicht (Blyvoor). As a result, KhumoGold held a 15% stake in a larger pool of assets; DRDGOLD’s stake in ERPM and Crown increased from 40% to 85% whilst in Blyvoor it dropped from 100% to 85%.
KhumoGold’s acquisition of the initial 15% stake in DRDGOLD SA was vendor financed by the conversion of an existing loan to KBH of R7.9 million and the issue of 31.8 million new KhumoGold preference shares to DRDGOLD.
KhumoGold executive director Adv Palesa Ncholo said: “By signaling our intention to place in an employee trust 6% of our increased stake in DRDGOLD SA, we have underpinned our commitment to fulfill the spirit and intent of the Mining Charter in respect of broad-based black economic empowerment.”
On KhumoGold’s decision to exercise its option to acquire a further stake in DRDGOLD SA, DRDGOLD CEO Mark Wellesley-Wood said: “This is an indication both of KhumoGold’s continuing support as our BEE partner for DRDGOLD SA’s programme to re-focus and expand its current operations, and recognition of our progress to date. Also, conclusion of the ‘second step’ will mean that DRDGOLD is well on track in respect of the Mining Charter’s 10-year target for 26% black ownership of its South African investment.”
Niel Pretorius, DRDGOLD
+27 11 219 8700(office)
James Duncan, Russell & Associates
+27 11 880 3924 (office)
+27 82 892 8052 (mobile)
Adv Palesa Ncholo
+27 11 457 6900
In South Africa, the company has an 85% interest in DRDGOLD South African Operations (Pty) Limited (DRDGOLD SA), while in Australasia, it has a 78.9% interest in Emperor Mines Limited.
In the 2006 financial year, DRDGOLD SA contributed 60% or 315 976 ounces – of total attributable gold production of 527 401 ounces, and Emperor 211 425 ounces. At 30 June 2006, DRDGOLD’s total attributable resource base was 47.6 million ounces and its total attributable reserves were 8.8 million ounces.
For more information, please visit www.drdgold.com
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 obligation 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.