Equinox Minerals Limited

Equinox Minerals Limited

October 26, 2007 16:30 ET

Equinox Releases Results for Quarter Ended September 30, 2007

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2007) - Equinox Minerals Limited (TSX:EQN)(ASX:EQN) -




Construction highlights for the quarter included:

- Total on-site construction workforce increased to over 3,500 employees;

- Pre-stripping operations of the Malundwe Stage 1 pit continued throughout the quarter with 4.5Mt of waste mined to date the majority of which was delivered to various bulk-fill activities in support of construction program;

- By quarter end 19 of the 27 x Hitachi EH4500 diesel/AC drive ("Euclid") 250 tonne trucks ordered have been delivered to site. 7 trucks have been commissioned and operational which is more than sufficient for the current pre-strip program. In addition 2 primary loading units are operational along with various support and ancillary equipment;

- Both the SAG and Ball Mill shell and wrap-around motor segments were placed into position and installation commenced along with the requisite feed and discharge ends;

- Civil activity during the quarter focussed on:

-- handing over of the mill foundation areas;

-- commencement of the second floor slab for the primary crusher; and

-- pouring of the second floor walls in the reclaim area, tails thickener floor and lower level floor at the classification building;

- Structural steel erection commenced late in the quarter in the classification area;

- Tailings and water storage facilities were largely completed by the end of quarter;

- The extension of the Kansanshi substation was largely completed by quarter end. Progress on the 72km transmission line remains on schedule with tower erection 50% complete and cable stringing approximately 25% complete. Lumwana substation construction is well advanced with two 330/33kV transformers in place and all significant structural steel erected. Commissioning of reticulated power is planned for late 2007; and

- Town development activities progressed with all main infrastructure (water, power and sewerage) progressing ahead of housing construction activities. By quarter end approximately 250 houses were complete and ready for occupancy.

The project remains on schedule and budget with commissioning scheduled for late Q2-2008.

Key development highlights include:

- Equinox's wholly owned subsidiary Lumwana Mining Company Limited signed concentrate sale and purchase agreements with Mopani Copper Mines Plc and Glencore International AG for a total minimum contractual "take and pay" tonnage of 600,000 dry metric tonnes of Lumwana copper concentrates. Combined with the contract previously signed with Chambishi Copper Smelter Limited (the joint venture between China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co. Ltd. and Yunnan Copper Industry (Group) Co. Ltd), jointly, these concentrate sale and purchase agreements now provide for the processing of 100% of the scheduled concentrate output expected to be produced in each of the first 5 year's of Lumwana production;

- The Company successfully achieved financial close on its US$583.8 million Lumwana Project finance debt facility concluding all requisite funding for completion of construction of the Lumwana Project. Following satisfaction of all material conditions precedent and completion of all equity expenditure on the project as required by the lenders, the process of drawdown commenced.

- Equinox completed its Lumwana copper hedging program as required under its debt finance facilities. Combined, the Company has hedged 30% of the initial 3 years of expected Lumwana copper production. Of this, only half (or 15% of planned production) has been committed to forward contracts, the other half by way of deferred premium put options, thereby leaving 85% of annual production during these 3 years exposed to the upside of a rising copper price;

- In connection with the execution of the US$407.6 million Lumwana Project fixed price EPC construction contract ("EPC") Equinox issued to the EPC Contractors, a total of 1,108,544 common shares ("Common Shares") to the value of C$4,317,890 (US$4,314,000) that being a portion of the second quarterly milestone payment under the terms of the EPC contract. Remaining quarterly Common Share issuances will be made progressively over the term of the EPC contract and will total US$8,628,000. The milestone payment signifies that the completion of Lumwana construction has now passed the 50% mark.


Highlights for the quarter included:

- The Company completed all scheduled Lumwana Uranium Feasibility Study ("UFS") drilling at Malundwe with 152 holes (totaling 14,606m) drilled by reverse circulation percussion drilling and 10 holes (totaling 778m) completed by diamond drilling. Samples were despatched for assay, with the results from approximately 50 holes still outstanding;

- The Company released the first update on drilling progress for the UFS. High-grade results of note include MLW0055 which intersected 11m @ 0.75% U3O8 from 24m including 3m of 2.66% U3O8 from 25m. All results are presented in Table 1 in the press release dated July 24, 2007 available on the Company's website;

- Ausenco Projects Limited, UFS consultants, made scheduled progress on engineering design and project costing of the Lumwana uranium plant. Metallurgical test work for uranium leaching and copper extraction is ongoing; and

- The UFS remains on schedule to be delivery to the Company in late Q1 2008.


Highlights for the quarter included:

- At Kababisa, approximately 5km north of the Lumwana process plant, drilling was undertaken with the completion of 28 holes (4,456m) drilled by reverse circulation percussion drilling and two holes (292m) completed by diamond drilling. Assay results for this program are awaited. The target remains open to the north and south and down dip;

- At Ndola West, the Company's major project on the Copperbelt 300km east of Lumwana, drilling was initiated with one drill rig completing 14 holes (1,031m) drilled by reverse circulation percussion drilling by the end of the quarter. The program is on-going;

- North of the Ndola West prospect and within the same lease, Equinox is investigating another target named Ngala. IP was conducted at Ngala during the quarter; and

- Within the Kabompo lease located 120km west of Lumwana, extensive fieldwork comprising prospecting, soil sampling and reconnaissance field mapping was conducted. This work has identified priority targets for both copper and uranium mineralization and two of these are currently being drill tested.


- Equinox recorded a consolidated net loss for the three months ended September 30, 2007 of US$9.3 million, or US$0.016 loss per share. This compares to a consolidated net loss of US$4.3 million, or US$0.008 loss per share, for the previous three months ended June 30, 2007. As at September 30, 2007, Equinox had cash resources of US$51.4 million and undrawn debt facilities of US$451.5 million.

Equinox is an international mineral exploration and development company listed on both the TSX and ASX (TSX and ASX symbol: "EQN"). Lumwana, owned 100% by Equinox, is located in the North Western Province of the Republic of Zambia. The Lumwana mine is expected to produce an average of 169,000 tonnes of copper metal per year contained in concentrates for the first 6 years of its expected 37 year mine life and construction is on schedule for commissioning in Q2 2008.

A copy of Equinox's Q3 Financial Statements and the MD&A are available at www.sedar.com, www.asx.com.au and at www.equinoxminerals.com

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of Equinox:

Craig R. Williams - President & Chief Executive Officer

For information on Equinox and technical details on the Lumwana Project please refer to the company website at www.equinoxminerals.com

Cautionary Language and Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains "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 Canadian and Australian securities authorities. Technical information in this release is summarized or extracted from the ''Amended Technical Report on the Lumwana Copper Project, North West Province, Republic of Zambia'' dated October 2006 (the ''Technical Report''), prepared by Michael Davis, Process Manager, Ausenco Ltd. (''Ausenco''), Ross Bertinshaw, Principal of Golder Associates Pty Ltd. (''Golder''), Tim Miller, Director, of Investor Resources Finance Pty Ltd (''IRF''), and Robert Hanbury, Associate Director, of Knight Piesold Pty Ltd. (''Knight Piesold''), each of whom is a ''Qualified Person'' in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 -Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Readers are cautioned not to rely solely on the summary of such information contained in this release, but should read the Amended Technical Report which is posted on Equinox's website (www.equinoxminerals.com) and filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and any future amendments to such report. Readers are also directed to the cautionary notices and disclaimers contained herein. All currency in this release is U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.

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