Media releases

Blyvoor’s “Rand-beater” task team secures outcomes-based workplace agreement with rock drill operators

An outcomes-based incentive scheme for rock drill operators at DRD’s Blyvooruitzicht Mine is the first initiative to emerge from the efforts of a multi-disciplinary task team appointed two weeks ago to “beat the R/kg gold price before it beats us”.

Johannesburg, South Africa – 25 March 2004 – Durban Roodepoort Deep, Limited (JSE:DUR; NASDAQ:DROOY; ASX:DRD) An outcomes-based incentive scheme for rock drill operators at DRD’s Blyvooruitzicht Mine is the first initiative to emerge from the efforts of a multi-disciplinary task team appointed two weeks ago to “beat the R/kg gold price before it beats us”.

A key feature of the rock drill operator incentive scheme, for the first time, is a rate of payment directly related to face advance and the quality of holes drilled, says Divisional Director of DRD’s South African Operations, Deon van der Mescht.

The rockdrill assistant post, phased out earlier in order to cut costs, is to be re-introduced.

“We now believe that the phase-out was done without due cognizance having been taken of the arduous nature of the rock drillers’ job and of a level of precision that requires the combined efforts of two experienced men,” van der Mescht says.

The eight-person task team, representative of management and organised labour, reported back to all stakeholders earlier this week, both on its investigations into the negative impact of the Rand’s strength on costs and revenues, and on its proposals for counter measures.

Van der Mescht described the rapid conclusion of an agreement on workplace change with the mine’s rock drill operators as “an outstanding example of what can be achieved through a meaningful participation process that allows for informed buy-in by key workers”.

In light of its success to date, the Blyvooruitzicht task team’s brief, which has involved its working full time, has been extended. It will investigate a further eight options for similar workplace agreements, all aimed at improving productivity at the mine.

The task team’s practice of issuing so-called “Flash Reports” have been instrumental in keeping the workforce advised of its investigations and recommendations, van der Mescht says. This method of sustained communication has, in turn, been important in securing the necessary informed buy-in.


South Africa
Investor and Media Relations
Ilja Graulich, Durban Roodepoort Deep, Limited
+27 11 381 7826 (office)
+27 83 604 0820 (mobile)

James Duncan, Russell & Associates
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+27 82 892 8052 (mobile)

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Paul Downie, Porter Novelli
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North America
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Susan Borinelli, Breakstone & Ruth International
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Jessica Anderson, Breakstone & Ruth International
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United Kingdom/Europe
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Phil Dexter, St James's Corporate
+44 20 7499 3916 (office)
+44 779 863 4398

DRD is the world’s 9th largest gold producer, with mines in South Africa as well as Australasia, a key target for growth. The company has a track record of success in extending the lives of older mines safely and profitably. For fiscal year 2003, DRD produced 870 000 ounces of gold, up from under 100 000 ounces a year in 1987, when current operations were amalgamated.

DRD has primary listings on the Johannesburg (JSE:DRD) and Australian (ASX:DRD) stock exchanges and secondary listings on NASDAQ (DROOY), the London Stock Exchange 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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