Rapu Rapu is an open pit mine located on the island of Rapu Rapu, Albay province, Southern Luzon, Philippines. The mine is initially producing gold and the property also contains silver, copper and zinc.
Built at a total cost of approximately US$50 million over the past two years,the operations have had their share of teething problems leading up to and during the commissioning stage, but they have completed commissioning and first-stage multi-mineral production begins in April 2006.
The property covers 4,636 ha, most of the island and is owned and operated by Lafayette Mining Limited. The Ungay orebody is currently being mined.
The initial mine life is at least eight years of open cut mining, processing 1 mtpa of ore. This is expected to yield around 50,000 ounces of gold annually, 600,000 ounces of silver, 10,000 metric tons of copper concentrate and 14,000 metric tons of zinc concentrate per year. There is also potential to develop the Hixbar deposit, 2.5 kms to the west of the current mine.
Gold was first shipped on Aug 31, 2005. As of the third quarter of 2005 work on the base metals plant (for copper and zinc production) was largely complete. The primary grinding circuit has been commissioned as part of the gold plant. The second-hand ball mill has been refurbished and relined. Port facilities are largely complete. Concentrate storage facility is complete. Gold and basemetal ore has been stockpiled in advance of the rainy season.
The minesite includes roads, a camp, a port, plant (a gold circuit and base metals plant) and related facilities. A resettlement village has been built for the small number of families who elected to remain in the area.
Commissioning of the base metals plant is complete and the mine will commence operations in April 2006.
After two toxic spills in late 2005, the mine's dam wall was raised from 127 metres to 135 metres and its base widened. The tailings pond has been expanded.