MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Lafayette Eyes Restart After Typhoon

Published by MAC on 2007-01-16
Source: Reuters

Lafayette eyes restart after typhoon

Reuters -

16th January 2007

SYDNEY - Lafayette Mining Ltd. said on Tuesday it was confident of a rapid resumption of copper and zinc concentrate shipments once repairs are completed at its mine in the Philippines, damaged by a typhoon late last year.

In the meantime, existing inventories of concentrate -- ground ore -- were being shipped on spot terms by South Korea's LG International, said Lafayette, whose stock is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

In late November, Typhoon Durian ripped across remote Rapu-Rapu Island, 350 km southeast of Manila, knocking out power and communication lines with the mainland and damaging staff housing quarters.

"The base metals plant and ancillary infrastructure required for the restart of production of copper and zinc concentrates are expected to be available in early February 2007," Lafayette said in a statement.

The typhoon struck as the company was testing operations on a trial basis following two cyanide spills in October 2005 that led to a suspension of mining by the government.

Before the suspension, Lafayette had been forecast to generate revenues of $350 million a year from production of 10,000 tons of copper in concentrate, 14,000 tons of zinc, 50,000 ounces of gold and 600,000 ounces of silver.

Rapu-Rapu was the first foreign-owned mine to open after the Supreme Court upheld a law allowing 100 percent foreign ownership of mining projects. Lafayette shares were trading up 1.1 percent at 8.9 cents by early afternoon in a slightly firmer overall market.

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