Australian-Philippines mine claims sabotage

Australian-Philippines mine claims sabotage

Australian-Philippines mine claims sabotage

Updated 30 March 2012, 15:30 AEDT

An Australian mining company says the anti-mining lobby in the Philippines attempted to sabotage its operations in 2006.

Lafayette Mining Incorporated is about to resume production on the island of Rapu Rapu after the lifting of a 15 month ban.

The Philippines Government ordered Lafayette to shut down its gold, silver and copper mine on Rapu Rapu island after a discharge of polluted waste which it has now rectified.

A bigger political controversy delayed its reopening when alleged mercury contamination in fish was attributed to the mine by green groups.

Lafayette Managing Director David Parker told Radio Australia's Karon Snowdon that the company was exonerated and does not use mercury in its operations.

"I think there is a very active anti-mining lobby in the Philippines, and we have been targeted," he said.

"[We] became a focal point for those anti-mining groups through the course of 2006.

"The mercury hoax was one incident of an attempt to sabotage our operations."

Lafayette faced a large fine and substantial costs to upgrade environmental safeguards before the production ban was lifted.