MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Lafayette looking for funds following delay

Published by MAC on 2005-12-01

Lafayette looking for funds following delay

Michael Quinn

MiningNews, December 01, 2005

LAFAYETTE Mining has to consider funding options after commissioning of its Rapu Rapu base metals plant in the Philippines was put on hold in the wake of the recent environmental issues that struck the operation.

Lafayette, which said today it had been expecting to begin production from the base metal project this month, now expects to get underway "early in the new year".

The company said the delay was "prudent" as the company ensured all processes and systems were in place to prevent and unforseen events occurring. The company also noted that December is traditionally the wettest month of the year.

Last month Lafayette reported two separate uncontrolled"discharge events" from its adjacent gold operation, the second of which took place following a sustained period of torrential rain.

The Philippines' Mines and Geosciences Bureau subsequently slapped six conditions that needed to be re-addressed before a re-start, with Lafayette "confident that it was close to delivering full compliance".

Lafayette gave no details as to funding requirements or options.

Prior to news of the discharge incidents, Lafayette said it expected its base metal plant to produce 7500 tonnes of zinc, 5500t of copper, 25,000oz of gold and 300,000oz of silver – all in concentrate – by the end of fiscal 2006.

At full capacity, Rapu Rapu will annually produce around 10,000t of copper and 14,000t of zinc – in concentrate – as well as 50,000oz of gold and 300,000oz of silver.

Shares in the company were off 1.5c at 13.5c in afternoon trade.

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