Durban chief sees conspiracy against gold

Section:

10:25p EDT Thursday, July 29, 1999

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Here's a news service dispatch this week of special
interest.

Please post it as seems useful.

With good wishes.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

By ANDREW CLEARY

The chairman of Durban Roodepoort Deep (DRD), Roger
Kebble, predicted Tuesday that the gold price would
come off its lows in the future but said that nothing
was certain and in the meantime DRD would "keep its
head down" and "ensure that it stays in business."

Kebble said that he believed some sort of conspiracy to
be in place, possibly involving hedging organisations.

He said that DRD had felt "an enormous thrust from the
hedging organisations to get us to give them our gold
... their passion for this could be so that they
protect themselves from a gold price increase".

However, Kebble said that he saw positive factors
emerging for gold, such as the probable blocking by US
congress of IMF gold sales. "Eventually I think we
might win this battle," he said.

DRD hedges most of its gold so that it is not as badly
affected by the lower prices. At current prices, or "in
this current onslaught," as chief executive Mike
Prinsloo put it, DRD could continue to operate at
hedged prices for a further 18 months.

However, the hedging programme could be rolled forward
by a period of up to five years in the event of an
improvement in the gold price, allowing DRD to take
advantage of the higher prices, he said.

Prinsloo said that his own research into sentiment for
the gold price had shown an average forecast of $272/oz
in 2000 and $285/oz in 2001. The rand/dollar exchange
rate, he said, was forecast at R6.25 and R6.35 per
dollar in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

However, Kebble said he felt that the rand would
finish the year at a level of over R7/dollar. He
also called for government to lower interest rates
into single-digit territory to kickstart the economy
and allow the rand to weaken to "give this country an
opportunity to be export driven."