HomeGoldDRDGold granted judicial management order over Blyvoor

DRDGold granted judicial management order over Blyvoor

Blyvoor mine “’
now under judicial
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 November 2009 – DRDGold Limited “’ South Africa’s fourth biggest gold producer “’ has announced that the High Court of South Africa has approved its application for a judicial management order over the company’s 74%-owned Blyvoor operation.

On Monday DRDGold announced its intention to seek the order to prevent liquidation of Blyvoor, which had been in a loss-making position since May 2009.  The High Court granted a provisional judicial management order, in terms of the Companies Act.

DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius said: “We are confident that judicial management offers the best possible prospect of preventing Blyvoor’s liquidation, and of restoring the operation to financial health, all the while protecting the interests of all stakeholders of both Blyvoor and DRDGold.

“Meanwhile, in line with DRDGold’s strategic shift towards lower-risk, lower-cost, high-margin production, the company’s surface retreatment operations – which are unaffected by developments at Blyvoor “’ delivered an increase in gold production of more than 9% in October, compared with September, from 10 160 ounces to 11 092 ounces,” he added. These surface operations now deliver 66% of DRDGold’s production, and their proportion of the total is expected to continue to rise.

“While Blyvoor’s surface production was stable month on month, Crown and ERPM were marginally higher with ErgoGold, increasing by almost 38%,” Pretorius revealed.

He said that to accelerate production build-up at ErgoGold, a further R8 million had been approved to bring forward commissioning of a second pipeline feed from the Elsburg tailings complex to the Brakpan plant.

Previously reported construction of a pilot plant to optimise the feed mix to the Brakpan plant had been completed and was working well, Pretorius added.

A provisional judicial manager is being appointed to manage Blyvoor until 16 March 2010, when he/she will present to the court a report on the performance of the business.