First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
LSE : FQM
TSX : FM

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

May 12, 2005 15:00 ET

First Quantum Minerals Updates Copper Resource at Frontier Project

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - May 12, 2005) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) -

-1.88 MILLION TONNES OF CONTAINED COPPER IN MEASURED & INDICATED RESOURCE

-PROJECT ENGINEERING STUDY NEARS COMPLETION

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is pleased to announce the results of a new independent copper resource estimate completed at its wholly owned Frontier Project (formerly Lufua), Haut Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (see attached map). First Quantum has conducted three phases of reverse circulation drilling, and two phases of diamond drilling since shallow, first pass air core drilling initially outlined the Frontier deposit in 2002. This resource estimate is based on 252 drill holes (33,451.7 metres). A previous resource estimate for this deposit was released on May 31, 2004.

Frontier Copper Resource

At a 0.50% total copper cut off, the measured and indicated copper resource is estimated to be as follows;



--------------------------------------------------------------------
Acid
Total Soluble Total Total
Copper Copper Contained Soluble
Ore Grade Grade Copper Copper
Category (tonnes) (%) (%) (tonnes) (tonnes)
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Sulphide
Measured 91,526,100 1.17 - 1,070,850 -
Indicated 47,960,600 1.14 - 546,750 -

Total
Sulphide 139,486,700 1.16 - 1,617,600 -
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Oxide/Mixed
Measured 17,388,100 1.24 0.87 215,610 151,280
Indicated 3,910,200 1.33 0.98 52,000 38,320

Total
Oxide/Mixed 21,298,300 1.26 0.89 267,610 189,600
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Measured 108,914,200 1.18 - 1,285,190 -
Indicated 51,870,800 1.15 - 596,510 -

Total
Measured
& Indicated 160,785,000 1.17 - 1,881,700 189,600
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In addition, inferred copper resources for sulphide and oxide / mixed
material are estimated to be as follows;

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Acid
Total Soluble Total Total
Copper Copper Contained Soluble
Ore Grade Grade Copper Copper
Category (tonnes) (%) (%) (tonnes) (tonnes)
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Inferred
Sulphide 34,300,000 1.05 - 360,150 -
Oxide/Mixed 318,000 1.12 0.80 3,560 2,540
Total
Inferred 34,618,000 1.05 - 363,710 2,540
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Frontier Cobalt Resource

A discrete cobalt inferred resource that occurs within the measured and indicated copper resource stated above, and is not additive to it, has been calculated.

At a 0.5% total copper cut off and 0.025% total cobalt cut off, this resource is estimated to be as follows;



--------------------------------------------------------------------
Acid
Solu- Cont-
Total ble Cont- ained Cont-
Cop- Cop- Total ained Acid ained
per per Cobalt Total Soluble Total
Ore Grade Grade Grade Copper Copper Cobalt
Category (tonnes) (%) (%) (%) (tonnes) (tonnes) (tonnes)
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Inferred

Sulphide 5,193,700 1.25 - 0.054 64,920 - 2,800
Oxide/
Mixed 2,287,300 1.20 0.65 0.085 27,450 14,870 1,940

Total
Inferred 7,481,000 1.23 - 0.063 92,370 14,870 4,740
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Mineralization at Frontier is hosted predominantly within altered and veined Katangan metapelites, interpreted to be contained within a shallow south eastwardly plunging, north eastward dipping, overturned anticline, with the thickest mineralization developed in the nose region of this fold. Oxidation extends to variable depths across the deposit, and is strongly influenced by post mineral faulting. Higher grade cobalt mineralization is preferentially developed on the upper limb of the anticline. The deposit is open down plunge to the southeast, and the lower limb is open down dip to the northeast.

Clive Newall, President commented, "This updated estimate represents an 84% increase in the overall measured and indicated contained total copper resource, compared to last year's figures. Virtually all of this increase is a result of a quadrupling of the measured sulphide category resource, with the indicated sulphide category resource also increasing by 14%. The oxide and mixed category resource is essentially unchanged, but 80% is now classed as measured resource, compared to 64% previously. The cobalt resource classification has been reduced to inferred from indicated; while the tonnage of this resource increased, the grade has declined significantly, resulting in a 50% reduction in contained cobalt tonnage. Further drilling will take place during 2005 to convert some of the substantial inferred copper resource tonnage to indicated category, and to continue the exploration of the deposit. Environmental assessment, hydrological and geotechnical studies are underway at Frontier, and the project engineering study is nearing completion, with publication expected in the second quarter of 2005."

Frontier is located near the town of Sakania in the DRC, within 2 km of the Zambian border, and the paved highway that parallels it, roughly equidistant between the city of Ndola (35 kilometres) to the southeast and the Mopani Copper Mines smelter at Mufulira (30 kilometres) to the northwest. It is also approximately 45 kilometres from First Quantum's Bwana Mkubwa SX/EW facility. The main railway from the Copperbelt in Zambia to Lubumbashi in the DRC passes within 5 kilometres of the property.

The Frontier resource estimate is based on a total of 44 diamond drill holes (12,369.7 metres) and 91reverse circulation (RC) drill holes (15,757 metres), for which total copper, acid soluble copper and total cobalt assays are available. In addition, a total of 30 shallow (Phase I) RC holes (1,584 metres) and 87 shallow air core drill holes (3,741 metres) for which only total copper and acid soluble assays are available, were utilized in the resource estimate.

The Frontier independent resource estimate was produced to JORC (Joint Ore Reserve Committee of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Reserves, September 1999.) standards, by Gayle Hanssen of Digital Mining Services, Harare, Zimbabwe, and reconciled to the standards specified in National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects" issued by the Canadian Securities Commissions. Ms. Hanssen is a professional natural scientist of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), an acceptable "member of a professional association" under National Instrument 43-101 and is the Qualified Person for the estimate of the mineral resource. The Company will file a Technical Report with the Securities Commission pursuant to National Instrument 43-101.

Drilling at Frontier was carried out by SDS Drilling, a subsidiary of Boart Longyear Inc and Stanley Mining Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Layne Christensen Company. Survey and Technical Services (STS), Masvingo, Zimbabwe surveyed all drill hole collars. Down hole surveys were completed on 30 of the diamond drillholes and partial or complete down hole surveys were completed on 32 of the reverse circulation drill holes. Diamond drill holes were drilled at HQ size, with reduction to NQ as required. Half core samples were taken with individual sample intervals reflecting geology and respecting core loss, and a minimum sample interval of 0.5 metres. Core recovery was generally better than 90%. All RC samples were split to normal industry standards. First Quantum personnel conducted all sampling, and supervised the chain of custody from the drill site to the laboratories.

All samples were prepared to normal industry standards, with all diamond and Phase II & III RC drill hole and assayed for total copper, ambient temperature acid soluble copper and total cobalt, at Scientific Services (Pty.) Ltd in Capetown, South Africa or Genalysis Laboratory Services Pty Ltd of Maddington, Western Australia. Phase I RC drillholes and air core holes were assayed for total copper and ambient temperature acid soluble copper at Antec Laboratories, Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. Appropriate standards, blanks and duplicates were employed. A laboratory check assaying program, comparing Scientific Services (Pty.) Ltd with Genalysis Laboratory Services Pty Ltd, was performed with acceptable results.

Alan J. Stephens FIMMM, a geologist with more than 29 years of experience, and previously Vice President of Exploration for, and since January 1st 2005 Consultant to, First Quantum Minerals, was responsible for the design and conduct of the program, and is the qualified person for the purposes of NI 43-101.

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

G. Clive Newall, President

12g3-2b-82-4461

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Certain of the information contained in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those with respect to the prices of gold, copper 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. Such factors include, among others, the actual prices of copper, gold 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 British Columbia Securities Commission and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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