MAC: Mines and Communities

Lafayette Forced To Shut Rapu-rapu Anew

Published by MAC on 2006-09-12
Source: Reuters

Lafayette forced to shut Rapu-Rapu anew


12th September 2006

SYDNEY-Australia's Lafayette Mining Ltd. said yesterday it was forced to again halt operations at its Rapu-Rapu mine in the Philippines after a temporary government operating license expired.

The mine was closed last year after two cyanide spills but had nearly resumed full operations by late last week under a 60-day trial run approved by the government.

Lafayette's shares fell 5.75 percent to 8 Australian cents, in a broader S&P/ASX 200 index down 0.6 percent.

Lafayette said results from mine operations over the trial run had demonstrated the mine's ore treatment plant was in compliance with regulatory standards, but its application for a further 60-day extension to operate the plant had not been considered by the Pollution Adjudication Board of the Philippines.

Plant operations were suspended late on Friday to ensure compliance with government requirements, the company said.

"Lafayette remains hopeful that the extension will be granted shortly," it said in a statement.

The country's first new mine developed by foreign interests in almost four decades suspended operations three months after pouring its first gold on July 20 last year, forcing Lafayette to conduct remedial environmental work or face permanent closure.

The plant had reached 90 percent of rated capacity last week and was expected to meet 100 percent of capacity within a further two days, the company had told the Australian Stock Exchange on Sept. 5.

Lafayette estimates the lode can generate revenues of $350 million a year from production of 10,000 tons of copper in concentrates, 14,000 tons of zinc, 50,000 ounces of gold and 600,000 ounces of - Reuters

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