SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD COMPANY WITHDRAWS BID

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 23, 1999 - PACNEWS/Fiji Times)---A leading South African gold producer, Durban Roodeport Deep, Ltd. (DRD), has withdrawn its bid to buy controlling shares in Emperor Gold Mines, Ltd. (EGM), which operates a mine in Fiji.

The company withdrew when it learned that EGM was challenging the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's decision to grant a modification to DRD's bid. The Fiji Times reports the modification would allow DRD, and any other interested company or shareholder, to acquire more than 20 percent of Emperor without having to make an offer to the remaining shareholders first.

However, in a statement, DRD said it might consider buying shares in future, after the legal proceedings are completed.

"Once the legal impediments to the bid proceedings have been approved, DRD intends again to give the board of Emperor the opportunity to discus their views on the pricing of an offer and an opportunity to explain the value of Emperor," the statement reports.

DRD was one of three South African companies which formed a joint venture to take over EGM. The company records annual gold production in excess of 630,000 ounces. It is seeking reserves in the Australasian region to support additional annual production of 400,000 to 500,000 ounces.

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