By Marianne V. Go
The Philippine Star
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The management team of Lafayette Philippines Inc. headed by former Agriculture Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez has resigned following the purchase by Korean investors of Lafayette Mining Limited’s 74-percent stake in LPI.
However, the Korean investors are reportedly trying to convince Dominguez and his team to stay on.
The LG Group of Korea and Kores (the investment arm of the Korean government) have consolidated their ownership and control of the Rapu-Rapu polymetallic project. They are expected to start operating either at the end of this month or in July.
LG and Kores, through their joint venture company Philco Resources Limited (Philco), reached agreement with Lafayette Mining Limited last March 25 this year to purchase Lafayette’s 74-percent stake in LPI.
LG and Kores reportedly paid an initial $18 million to Lafayette .
Philco initially controlled just 26 percent of LPI.
Its acquisition of Lafayette ’s 74 percent gives it full ownership of LPI which owns 99.9 percent of the Rapu-Rapu Processing, Inc. RRPI olds a mineral processing permit (MPP) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
LPI also controls 40-percent of Rapu-Rapu Minerals, Inc. (RRMI) which holds the mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) for the Rapu-Rapu mine located in Rapu-Rapu Island, Albay.
LPI also holds a 40 percent stake in Rapu-Rapu Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) which, in turn, controls 60 percent of RRMI.
LPI’s partner in RRHI is F&N Holdings, Inc. which owns 60 percent.
F&N Holdings, Inc. is represented by lawyers whose principals are unknown.
The purchase was finalized last April 21.
Officials of LG and Kores, as well as of Lafayette , are set to pay a courtesy call to Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza to formally inform him of their takeover of the Rapu-Rapu polymetallic project.
LG and Kores had earlier informed the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the takeover and assured the DENR that Philco would provide the necessary working capital to protect the environment and employes of RRPI and RRMI until the takeover was completed.