Johannesburg, South Africa. 1 November 2007. DRDGOLD Limited (JSE: DRD; NASDAQ: DRO0Y) today reported continuing stabilisation of all three of its 74% owned South African (SA) operations - Blyvooruitzicht, ERPM and Crown – in the quarter ended 30 September 2007, with SA after-tax profit increasing by 136% to R18.4 million.
Revenue for the SA operations was 13% higher at R433 million, reflecting an 11% increase in gold production to 89 157oz. After accounting for cash operating costs of R370.7 million, cash operating profit from the SA operations was 38% higher at R62.3 million.
DRDGOLD CEO John Sayers said: “The success of our ongoing programme to stabilise the South African operations reinforces our decision to exit from our Australasian interests and ‘come home’ so to speak, to focus all of our resources in South Africa.”
DRDGOLD recently announced the sale of its 78.72% interest in ASX-listed Emperor Mines Limited to institutional investors for an amount of A$56 million (R340.9 million).
Sayers said the cash received from the Emperor disposal would be applied to:
Work has begun on the Ergo Mining Joint Venture (JV) with Mintails SA, the formation of which was announced in June 2007, with recovery of slimes dams from the Elsburg Tailings Complex and retreatment at an initial rate of 1.25 million tons per month expected to produce a monthly yield of approximately 200kg of gold when the project gets under way.
“The JV partners’ boards have approved a capital investment of R400 million, with excellent prospects for future growth from gold, uranium and sulphuric acid production,” Sayers said.
At Blyvoor, following a drilling programme to define the uranium resources in the mine’s slimes dam material, a 17.5 million lbs uranium and 0.8 million ton sulphur resource has been declared for the tailings dams. A 236% increase in the mine’s surface gold mineral resource, to 1.69 million ounces, has also been confirmed.
Additional exploration programmes are under way at the other South African operations to further define and quantify the uranium potential.
“I am confident we have all of the resources - a good mix of assets above and below ground, enthusiastic executive and management teams and a robust balance sheet - to position us well to establish a solid home base,” said Sayers.
James Duncan, Russell & Associates
+27 11 880 3924 (office)
+27 82 892 8052 (mobile)
Investor and Media Relations
Barbara Cano, Breakstone Group International
+1 646 452 2334 (office)
Investor and Media Relations
Phil Dexter, St James’s Corporate Services
+44 20 7499 3916 (office)
+44 779 863 4398 (mobile)
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 2006, which we filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 22 December 2006 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.