First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

November 27, 2007 14:00 ET

First Quantum Minerals, Supported by Partners, Commit to Provide or Procure Financing Totaling Up to US $593 Million for Kolwezi Project

KMT Board Approves Kolwezi Project Implementation

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 27, 2007) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) is pleased to announce that the Board of Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings SARL ("KMT") (owned by First Quantum 65%, La Generale Des Carrieres et Des Mines ("Gecamines") 12.5%, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa ("IDC") 10%, the International Finance Corporation ("IFC") 7.5% and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo 5% ("RDC") have committed to proceed with the development of the Kolwezi tailings project ("Kolwezi"). First Quantum with support from its contributing equity partners of KMT (the IDC, the IFC) will finance or procure third party debt project financing totaling up to US $593 million. This satisfies the obligations of First Quantum, the IDC and the IFC under the Contract of Association to complete feasibility studies, carry out an environmental impact assessment, prepare an environmental management plan, and to obtain commitments with respect to the financing of the Project.

Philip Pascall, Chairman & CEO of First Quantum Minerals commented, "The Board of KMT are prepared to move forward with the construction of a modern "state of the art" tailings retreatment facility to produce copper cathode and cobalt hydroxide. The Kolwezi project will be an important contributor to the economy of the Katanga province providing employment for the local people, support for local businesses as well as a strong tax base for the National and Provincial Governments. We look forward to working with our partners Gecamines, the IDC, the IFC and the Government of the Republic of Congo in developing this important asset."

Project Overview

The base case for the Kolwezi project with a capital cost of US $553 million is for a plant capable of treating 2.5 million tonnes per year of tailings throughput potentially producing 35,000 tonnes of copper cathode per year with the corresponding production of 7,000 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide. Tailings will be recovered utilizing high pressure water monitors and will be pumped to the SX/EW treatment plant. The copper circuit will be based on proven SX/EW copper operations at Bwana Mkubwa and Kansanshi and the cobalt circuit will be based on known plant processes similar to those operating at Mopani's Nkana cobalt plant. The project construction completion is targeted for the third quarter of 2009 with project commissioning taking place during the fourth quarter of 2009 and commercial production in the first quarter of 2010. The plant will commence operation at 35,000 tonnes per year copper and 7,000 tonnes per year of cobalt hydroxide. The plant will be designed and constructed such that the plant capacity can be doubled at a capital cost of US $40 million. The mine life is expected to be 22 years at an annual rate of 70,000 tonnes per year. The future development of a cobalt metal facility and the expansion of copper and cobalt capacity will be considered in light of practical experience on site and on commodity market conditions.

Environmental Review and Social Development Plan

In 2004/2005, an Environmental Adjustment Plan ("EAP") comprising an Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Management Plan was prepared for KMT in accordance with the DRC Mining Code and Mining Regulation. The EAP, based on the Adastra project design was submitted to the Ministry of Mines in Kinshasa on May 27, 2005 and an approval letter was issued on July 5, 2005. Additional information concerning the composition of the tailings and final effluent (not available for inclusion in the EAP) was submitted to the Ministry of Mines on May 19, 2006 and a non-objection letter to the additional elements of the final report was issued by the Ministry of Mines on May 25, 2006. KMT holds the Exploitation License to develop the Kolwezi tailings project and has approved the Environmental Impact Statement.

KMT is currently completing a Social Development Plan ("SDP") which is scheduled for implementation in the first quarter of 2008. The SDP will focus on a comprehensive community mobilization process that will engage stakeholders identified in the social baseline studies resulting in the creation of Community Development Committees and Village Development Plans in which community members prioritize their development needs. To make the plan sustainable and integrated, emphasis will be placed on: (1) the basic needs of communities - potable water, basic primary education and basic health facilities (HIV/AIDS and malaria programs); (2) income generating activities - agriculture and small scale business enterprises; (3) infrastructure - roads; (4) capacity building in local industry/suppliers, administration and infrastructure; and (5) good governance.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

G. Clive Newall, President


Listed in Standard and Poor's

Certain information contained in this news release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Such forward-looking statements or information, including but not limited to those with respect to the prices of gold, copper, cobalt and sulphuric acid, estimated future production, estimated costs of future production, the Company's hedging policy and permitting time lines, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such factors include, among others, the actual prices of copper, gold, cobalt and sulphuric acid, the factual results of current exploration, development and mining activities, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's documents filed from time to time with the Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario Securities Commissions, the Autorite des marches financiers in Quebec, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the London Stock Exchange.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • First Quantum Minerals Ltd. - North American
    Geoff Chater
    (604) 688-6577 or Toll Free: 1-888-688-6577
    (604) 688-3818 (FAX)
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd. - United Kingdom
    Clive Newall
    +44 140 327 3484
    +44 140 327 3494 (FAX)
    Hogarth Partnership Ltd.
    Harriet Pask or Sarah MacLeod
    +44 (0) 20 7357 9477