Equinox Minerals Limited

Equinox Minerals Limited

January 11, 2005 09:00 ET

Equinox Acquires 100% of Lumwana Copper Project; New Copper Deposit Discovered Close to Proposed Process Plant


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: EQUINOX MINERALS LIMITED

TSX, ASX. SYMBOL: EQN

JANUARY 11, 2005 - 09:00 ET

Equinox Acquires 100% of Lumwana Copper Project; New
Copper Deposit Discovered Close to Proposed Process
Plant

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 11, 2005) - NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION
TO US NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

Equinox Minerals Limited (TSX:EQN) (ASX:EQN) ("Equinox") has made
substantial progress towards development of the major Lumwana Copper
Project in Northwestern Zambia. Key achievements are as follows.

Equinox Acquires 100% of the Lumwana Project

Equinox is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of
the remaining interest in Lumwana from Phelps Dodge Zambia Limited
("Phelps Dodge"), giving the Company a 100% interest in the Lumwana
Project. The Minister for Mines and Minerals Development of the Republic
of Zambia has consented to the transfer of Large Scale Mining License
LML-49 to Equinox.

Equinox formed a joint venture with Phelps Dodge in August 1999 and
acquired a 51% interest in the Lumwana Project by completing a Bankable
Feasibility Study ("BFS") and expending in excess of US$10.0 million. In
June 2003, Equinox and Phelps Dodge signed a Letter of Intent providing
Equinox with an option to acquire the remaining Phelps Dodge interest in
the Project. This option has now been exercised and title transferred to
Equinox.

Phelps Dodge will retain a 1% net smelter return, which Equinox has a
further option to acquire either for a payment of US$10.6 million on a
development decision, or for a payment of US$12.8 million on the
commencement of commercial production.

Lumwana represents one of the largest undeveloped copper projects in the
world, and is one of the few that has advanced to the point where
feasibility is completed and the project is preparing for development.
Equinox President and CEO Craig Williams said "the acquisition of a 100%
interest in Lumwana has placed Equinox in a stronger position to fully
realize the benefits of our development plans."

Discovery of a New Copper Deposit 3km from Proposed Plant

Equinox has discovered a new copper deposit called Chimiwungo North,
about 300m north of the planned Chimiwungo Main open pit at Lumwana and
approximately 3km from the proposed 18Mtpa process plant. Copper
mineralization has been identified in 28 of the 30 reverse circulation
("RC") drill holes completed at Chimiwungo North. The mineralized zone
extends over an area of 700 m (N-S) by 450 m (E-W), and remains open to
the east and north. Significant sulphide intercepts at Chimiwungo North
include



---------------------------------------------------------------------
Drill Hole Interval (m) Width Copper Grade
---------------
From To (m) (% Cu)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
EQCHI-263 50 74 24 0.9
EQCHI-266 30 48 18 0.8
EQCHI-272 36 58 22 1.0
EQCHI-280 40 84 44 0.9
---------------------------------------------------------------------


A north-south oriented cross section through the centre of Chimiwungo
North and a table of all drill intercepts and assays are attached. Note
that assays from the last two holes, EQCHI292 and 293, are expected next
week.

The Chimiwungo North deposit is located on the north side of the
Chimiwungo North Fault which has dropped down the mineralized zone to
the north. The orebody was previously thought to have been eroded off in
this area, but was recently identified by Equinox as a strong induced
polarization ("IP") geophysical anomaly.

The grades and widths of the Chimiwungo North deposit are similar to the
previously announced Chimiwungo orebody (the latter having a Measured &
Indicated Resource of 139.1 Mt of 0.76% Cu). The Chimiwungo North
mineralization is predominantly copper sulphides, hosted within a
shallow (less than 100 m), flat-lying zone of ore schists similar to
those hosting the Chimiwungo resource. Above the sulphide zone there
appears to be a substantial zone of copper oxide mineralization
developed in the weathered portions of the deposit. The Chimiwungo North
deposit is close to the planned Lumwana plant site, is shallow, has a
significant width and a shallow southerly dip, in an area of flat
topography that facilitates development by an open pit.

Golder Associates have been engaged to conduct a preliminary resource
estimate on Chimiwungo North and it is anticipated that this will be
completed by February 2005.

Craig Williams commented that "the Chimiwungo North mineralization is
the first new copper deposit to be identified at Lumwana since the
mid-1970's. The Chimiwungo North discovery confirms the outstanding
potential of the Lumwana region to host additional copper deposits and
validates the Equinox exploration strategy applying geological concepts
and modern geophysical technology to discover previously unrecognized
copper mineralization."

Lumwana Pre-Development Activities

Equinox is conducting an ongoing program in preparation for development
at Lumwana including

- Metallurgical drilling: A 3,800 m (35 drill holes) large diameter (PQ)
core drilling program will be completed in February to provide samples
for metallurgical testwork. A total of 30 tonnes of metallurgical sample
is being shipped to Australia for further comminution and flotation
testwork to assist in the final definition of process equipment
specifications.

- Geotechnical drilling: A 500m (18 drill holes) program is nearing
completion to provide geotechnical information for all key
infrastructure required for development of the project.

- The tender process for the engagement of the Engineering, Procurement
and Construction Management ("EPCM") Engineer is at an advanced stage
and should be concluded in February 2005. Following its appointment, the
EPCM Engineer will commence the definitive engineering phase of the
Project prior to construction.

Expansion of Equinox Board and Management Team

The Equinox team has been substantially expanded to provide the
operating and financial skills necessary for Lumwana development. As
previously announced, key people that have recently joined the Equinox
team are

- Harry Michael - Chief Operating Officer and Director;

- Brian Penny - Non-executive Director and Chair of the Equinox Audit
Committee; and

- Mark Arnesen - Project Finance Specialist.

In addition, key people that have been recruited to the Lumwana Project
Team for construction and operations include the Mine, Process and
Finance Managers, all of which have extensive international mine
management experience in large-scale open pit mines in addition to
substantial African experience.

Equinox has strengthened its Board and management capacity and will
continue to recruit other key executives in line with the Lumwana
development schedule. Craig Williams stated "We are making good progress
towards project financing and are expanding our operating team in
preparation for development. The Company is expeditiously moving Lumwana
towards project financing and development."

Chimiwungo North Cross Section Showing Intercepts of Oxide and Sulphide
Mineralization:
http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/eqna0111.doc

Chimiwungo North: Table of All Drill Results (0.2% Cu cutoff):
http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/eqnb0111.doc

Chimiwungo North Drilling, Sample Preparation and Analysis

The Chimiwungo North holes were all RC holes. The samples were collected
in one metre intervals and bagged in plastic bags by the drilling
contractor, Stanley Mining Services Zambia. The samples were Jones
Riffle split by Equinox field assistants on two metre intervals to
produce assay samples weighing between 4 and 5 kg. All drilling and
sampling was monitored by an Equinox geologist. The first batch of 46
samples were delivered by Equinox via DHL from Kitwe, Zambia and
airfreighted to ALS Chemex Laboratory of Perth, Australia for sample
preparation and analysis. All remaining batches were delivered by
Equinox to Alfred H Knight Laboratories in Kitwe, Zambia for sample
preparation with 150 g of pulps material airfreighted by DHL to ALS
Chemex, Perth for analysis. The sample preparation protocols for both
ALS Chemex and A H Knight consisted of crushing the entire sample to -2
mm, then Jones Riffle split out 1 kg of material for pulverisation by
either a Labtech LM5 (ALS Chemex) or a Labtech LM2 (A H Knight)
pulveriser. Following pulverisation to greater than P90 -75 micron, a
150 g sub-sample of pulp was sent for analysis at ALS Chemex, Perth. The
analytical procedure at ALS Chemex consisted of four (total) acid digest
followed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy for
copper, cobalt, uranium, nickel, sulphur and iron. Any sample with
greater than 0.2% Cu was automatically assayed by fire assay atomic
absorption spectrophotometry for gold. Any samples with greater than
0.5% Cu were automatically re-assayed for copper using ALS Chemex's "Ore
Grade" inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy
technique. Appropriate quality assurance and quality control procedures
were adhered to throughout the drill program by adopting certified
standards (submitted 1 in 50 samples), field duplicates (1 in 20
samples), blanks and check samples (5% of each batch). The various
quality control sample data was analysed to provide a measure of error
as bias and precision.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements", which are
subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual
results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or
implied by such statements. Investors are cautioned that such statements
are not guarantees of future performance and results. Risks and
uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in
the Company's disclosure documents filed from time to time with the
Toronto and Australian securities authorities. The independent
feasibility study, prepared by Aker Kvaerner, Golder Associates and
Investor Resources Ltd has been disclosed in the Technical Report dated
April 2004, and is compliant with the JORC Code and National Instrument
43-101. Unless otherwise indicated, technical information contained in
this release is based on information compiled by a "Qualified Person"
who is either a corporate member of the Australasian Institute of Mining
and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists or the CIM. With
respect to statements relating to exploration activities, the Qualified
Person is Mr Michael Richards, an employee of the Company.

-30-

Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Equinox Minerals Limited
    Craig R Williams
    Chief Executive Officer
    +61 (0) 8 9322 3318
    or
    Michael Klessens
    Chief Financial Officer
    +61 (0) 8 9322 3318
    or
    Steve Dawson
    Investor Relations
    +1 (416) 865 3393
    Email: equinox@equinoxminerals.com
    Website: www.equinoxminerals.com