26 January 2004 - Durban Roodepoort Deep, Limited (JSE: DUR; NASDAQ: DROOY; ASX: DRD) today broadened its initiatives to expand the gold market by announcing its acquisition of a strategic stake in GoldMoney.com, a leading internet-based gold marketing company.
DRD's initial investment of US$200 000 (1.4%) comes with an option to increase its stake to $2 million, or 14.3%, at a later stage.
GoldMoney was founded by James Turk, the well known and internationally respected authority on the precious metal.
Turk says: 'GoldMoney is the easiest and most economical way to buy and sell gold on the internet, but we see gold not only as a metal but also as a form of currency.
'We believe there is huge potential for gold to be used more for low-cost online payments worldwide, as people are now doing with GoldMoney. Using gold in this way will increase its demand to the benefit of the industry.'
DRD CEO Ian Murray comments: 'We're well known for our belief in gold as money and for some time we've been considering ways of actively encouraging private ownership of gold. GoldMoney, to our mind, is one very direct way. It is particularly attractive for South Africans who, regrettably, cannot own gold in bullion form due to long-standing legal constraints.
'We look forward to growing our association with GoldMoney; to seeing it gain more prominence as international markets seek alternatives to the US dollar as the currency for international trade; and to announcing similar downstream activities into the future.'
In January 2003, DRD began an investigation into various gold beneficiation and marketing options. The company decided on an initial investment in GoldMoney, given its leadership position in the market and the secure, state-of-the-art technology it uses to effect transactions.
GoldMoney has around 10 000 customers in more than 100 countries, while gold held in allocated storage for the company's clients is close to 30 000 ounces.
The mastery of the website is that gold is stored in vaults globally, and only units of account called goldgrams are exchanged. Just like a share of stock represents an investor's ownership of a fraction of a publicly traded company, a goldgram represents a buyer's ownership of a portion of the gold held for GoldMoney customers in a secure vault in London. GoldMoney's servers keep track of purchasers' ownership of goldgrams and the gold held is insured.
The design and construction of GoldMoney's system was undertaken by South African IT frontrunner Dimension Data, which plays an ongoing role by managing the company's database.
For more information go to GoldMoney.com
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)