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DRDGOLD reaffirms commitment to Papua New Guinea

DRDGOLD Limited has reaffirmed its commitment to Papua New Guinea (PNG) with plans to extend its long term exploration campaign. DRDGOLD Limited has reaffirmed its commitment to Papua New Guinea (PNG) with plans to extend its long term exploration campaign.

Kick started earlier this year, under an initial US$3 million exploration budget, early drilling results have indicated exciting new potential for the Central Highlands district. Subsequently DRDGOLD is preparing to increase funding to US$5 million this year.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Wellesley-Wood said DRDGOLD was looking to expand its gold production opportunities in PNG additional to its 100% owned and operated Tolukuma Gold Mine and 20% share of the Porgera Joint Venture.

He said the drilling program had been developed to identify a Porgera-size mineable gold deposit near Tolukuma.

“We are committed to our growing presence in Papua New Guinea and expect to have a long term association with the country,” Mr Wellesley-Wood said.

“We are extremely positive towards PNG’s future as a reliable and efficient place to do business and believe there are exciting gold mining opportunities still be developed.”

The drilling program is focused on brown fields exploration to take Tolukuma to ‘big mine’ status as well as green fields targets in the 9000 square kilometres of exploration title built up by DRDGOLD around Tolukuma over the past five years.

DRDGOLD Australasia divisional director Richard Johnson said the Tolukuma region remains under explored yet is closely associated with other major structures throughout PNG including Ok Tedi, Freida River, Porgera, Kainantu and Morobe.

Encouraging drilling results have already been achieved on several newly-discovered structures within the Tolukuma mining lease.

In total, some 30km of drilling will take place on the Tolukuma property this year, using Tolukuma’s 5 dedicated drill rigs. The mine is awaiting the arrival of a newer, even more modern 6th rig to assist with the exploration and development.

DRDGOLD’s long term commitment to PNG comes despite a recent fall in its Australasian gold production during the September 05 quarter.

While DRDGOLD’s overall gold production remained relatively steady at 135,630 ounces, gold production from its Australasian operations fell 6 per cent to 67,920 ounces, mainly due to continuing operational constraints at Porgera and Tolukuma.

Cash operating unit costs at the Australasian operations rose 9 per cent higher to US$308 per ounce, reflecting lower production at Porgera and Tolukuma and higher fuel costs affecting these operations.

Production at Tolukuma was affected by increased production costs, a lack of available stoping areas, and bad weather, which resulted in 19 ‘no-fly’ days and the loss of 11 days’ production.

At the Porgera joint venture, production fell slightly due to power disruptions and the previously reported West Wall failure.

DRDGOLD Australasia:

DRDGOLD Australasia’s holdings comprise of Tolukuma Gold Mines Limited (Tolukuma), and a 20% participation in the operations of the Porgera Joint Venture (Porgera), through its holding in DRD (Porgera) Limited. In Fiji, it has a 45.3% stake in Emperor Mines Limited (Emperor), which owns and operates the Vatukoula mine.


Paul Downie
+618 9386 1233 (office)
+61 414 947 129 (mobile)

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