Paladin Completes Timor Sea Acquisition

Paladin's wholly owned subsidiary, Paladin Oil & Gas (Australia) Pty Limited, having received all necessary partner and regulatory approvals in December, has completed the acquisition of BHP Billiton's interests in the Laminaria and Corallina Fields and the Northern Endeavour FPSO, located in the Timor Sea, offshore northwestern Australia.

The purchase price as at the effective date of July 1, 2004 was US$150 million. As a result of adjustments for working capital, for cash flow movements in respect of the period between 1 July 2004 and completion, and for a deposit of US$15 million paid on signature of the Sale and Purchase Agreement, the consideration paid on completion was US$115 million funded by drawdown from existing bank facilities.

The acquisition of the Laminaria and Corallina interests has added approximately 13 million barrels of proven and probable reserves to the Group's reserves base and is expected to contribute some 6,000 barrels of oil per day to Group production in 2005. Capital investment plans for 2005 include the drilling of an infill development well in the Laminaria Field in mid-year.

Roy Franklin, Chief Executive of Paladin, commented:

'As our first deal in Australia, this acquisition offers the ideal combination of established near-term production and incremental investment opportunities which are material in a Group context. We look forward to working with our joint venture partners in realizing the upside potential of these two fields.'