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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 5) – Emperor Mines in Fiji has confirmed it is considering a proposal from DRDGold [Durban Roodepoort Deep] to acquire the latter's Papua New Guinea assets.

[PIR editor’s note: In Papua New Guinea, DRD owns and operates the Tolukuma mine, and has a 20 percent interest in the Porgera mine. In Fiji, it has a 19.8 percent stake in Emperor Mines Limited.]

Jim Wall, chairman of Emperor Mines Limited, parent of Emperor Gold Mines in Vatukoula, Fiji, confirmed this in a release to the Australian Stock Exchange last Friday.

"While the company would not ordinarily comment on incomplete proposals or speculation, this announcement has been made as DRDGold has issued a cautionary announcement regarding the proposal as required under the Johannesburg Stock Exchange listing rules, its home exchange," Mr. Wall said. "If agreement can be reached on acceptable terms, the proposal will be subject to a range of conditions including all necessary regulatory consents and approvals and the approval of the Emperor shareholders (other than DRDGold).

He added that, "Given the incomplete nature of the negotiations, there is no guarantee that this proposal will proceed. Further, Emperor has been advised by DRDGold that it is considering a number of options to deal with its offshore assets."

The statement issued by DRDGold to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange informed shareholders that the company had entered into discussions with several parties regarding the company's offshore assets. The statement said the discussions might result in a transaction, which may have a material effect on the price of the company's securities.

"The company is considering a range of proposals, which would result in its Australasian assets being separately listed. One of the proposals is the possible consolidation of its interests in the Porgera Joint Venture and the Tolukuma gold mine, both located in Papua New Guinea into Emperor Mines Ltd.," the statement said.

DRDGold owns 45.3 percent of Emperor Mines Limited.

[PIR editor’s note: Emperor Mines Limited owns and operates the Emperor Gold Mine at Vatukoula, Fiji, which is Fiji's second largest private employer with over 2,000 employees. Vatukoula is located in the northern region of Viti Levu island, northwest of the capital city of Suva.]

October 6, 2005

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