MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Lafayette gets please explain

Published by MAC on 2005-11-10

Lafayette gets please explain

By Barry Fitzgerald, Resources Editor, The Age

November 10, 2005

LAFAYETTE Mining's Rapu Rapu polymetallic project in the Philippines has been called on o demonstrate that the project's tailings dam system is up to scratch after the operation's econd "spill" of treatment waste in a matter of weeks.Melbourne-based Lafayette was placed in a trading halt yesterday pending what it said would e an announcement to the market "clarifying speculation contained in the Philippine meda" in relation the spills. Those media reports said operations at Rapu Rapu ha been voluntarily suspended following spills of process treatment water on October 11 and 3, with the first causing a small fish kill.

The reports said the move came ahead of an intentionby the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to issue a suspension order in response to the spills, ith various claims made about the level of cyanide they contained and the impact on creek an marine fish.

Lafayette will make the clarifying statement today. Lafyette managing director Andrew McIlwain was at the site yesterday. He said that therewas no issue with the operation's tailing dam. The dam's Perth-based designers are duein Rapu Rapu today to meet government officials and to attest that it meets internaional standards.

Mr McIlwain described the two spills as minor incident. The first involved tailings that were pumped to the wrong area and got away, while the secnd was related to heavy rainfall causing water to spill over, as the design and approvalsallow.

He said that the need to demonstrate to government auhorities that there were no lasting issues with the tailings dam came as the group had volntarily suspended operations as part of the planned changeover from the mining of oxide goldores to the mining and treatment of sulphide ores containing both base and precious metals

The group recently announced that the commissioning o the base metals circuit had started and that full production was due to be achieved in the Jue quarter of next year.

Mr McIlwain recently dined with Philippines President Glria Macapagal-Arroyo at Malacanan Palace — an invitation that reflected Rapu Rapu's statusas the first foreign-funded new mine development in the country for more than 30 years.

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