Media releases

DRD proposes ‘urgent, robust measures’ to stop Blyvoor’s ‘bleed’

DRD has tabled proposals, under its Section 189 consultation process, to restore its Blyvooruitzicht (Blyvoor) gold mine near Carletonville, South Africa to profit.

Johannesburg, South Africa. Thursday, 2 September 2004. Durban Roodepoort Deep, Limited (JSE: DUR; NASDAQ: DROOY; ASX: DRD) has tabled proposals, under its Section 189 consultation process, to restore its Blyvooruitzicht (Blyvoor) gold mine near Carletonville, South Africa to profit. These could see the shedding of up to 2 000 jobs by the end of September 2004.

Blyvoor, a 60-year-old operation, currently employs some 4 400 people. The combined effects of the strong Rand and a succession of failed workplace change initiatives resulted in steeply declining financial performance that culminated in a cash operating loss of US$3.9 million (R27.1 million) in the last quarter, ended 30 June 2004.

DRD’s newly appointed Divisional Director SA Operations Michael Marriott, said that ‘robust measures’, implemented as a matter of urgency, were essential to ‘stop the bleed’ at Blyvoor.

However, Marriott added that management’s proposals, put to the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (UASA) today, stopped short of recommending shaft closures at Blyvoor.

“We must smash overheads now and return the mine to breakeven and then to, at most, R80 000/kg; this is the only way we can preserve the mine’s existing infrastructure so that we have a sound platform for further remedial action over the next six months and for a strategy to take the mine into the future.”

Marriott announced the appointment of Mark Munroe (35), currently Production Manager at DRD’s North West Operations, as General Manager at Blyvoor with immediate effect.

“Blyvoor needs young, energetic management. These characteristics in Mark, together with his extensive production experience, augmented most recently by his role in the turnaround of the North West Operations, stand him in good stead.”

The Marriott-Munroe combination, already dubbed “M2” within DRD’s inner circle, brings almost half a century of South and Southern African mining experience to bear on Blyvoor’s current difficulties.

Marriott joined DRD earlier this year and was immediately seconded to its Crown Gold Recoveries (CGR) Black Economic Empowerment Joint Venture where he oversaw the restoration of CGR’s East Rand Proprietary Mines Limited to profitability. Marriott’s mining experience spans more than 30 years, some 20 years of which were with Anglo American Corporation’s Gold and Uranium Division in South Africa and the balance variously with Cluff Resources, Ashanti Goldfields and Lonrho in Zimbabwe.

Note to editors: brief profiles of Messrs Marriott and Munroe are attached. Pictures of both are available in the Photo Gallery under the Media Centre button on the DRD website,,


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
+27 11 880 3924 (office)
+27 82 892 8052 (mobile)

North America
Investor Relations and Media Relations
Susan Borinelli, Breakstone & Ruth International
+1 646-536-7018 (office)
+1 917-570-8421 (mobile)

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 (mobile)

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 2004, DRD produced 905 000 ounces of gold, up from under 100 000 ounces a year in 1997, when current operations were amalgamated.

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Some of the information in this voluntary release may contain projections or other forward looking statements regarding future events or other future financial performance, including statements regarding the production performance at the South African operations, and DRD's ability to diversify its assets and grow outside South Africa. We wish to caution you that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees or predictions of future performance, and involve known or unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control and which may cause actual events or results to differ materially from these expressed in the statements contained in this release.

Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences are discussed in the sections entitled 'Risk Factors' included in our annual report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2003, which we filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 30 December 2003 and is available on the SEC's website at We undertake no obligation to publicly update or release results of any of these projections or forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unexpected results

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