First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
LSE : FQM
TSX : FM

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

March 30, 2010 10:00 ET

First Quantum Minerals Updates Kansanshi Resources and Reserves

Increases in Measured and Indicated Resources of 18%; Contained Copper of 50%

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 30, 2010) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) today announced an updated resources and reserves estimate, as at December 31, 2009, for the Kansanshi copper-gold mine in Zambia.

Key Updates:

- Using a 0.3% cut-off grade, the Measured and Indicated categories and the contained copper increase by approximately 18% and 50%, respectively.

- Significantly increased Proved and Probable mineral reserves can support a minelife of approximately 13 years at a throughput rate of 24 million tonnes per year.

- The minelife increases to 20 years when the Inferred mineral resource is considered.

- The overall strip ratio increases marginally to 2.2:1 compensated by the increase in head grade to 1.16% total copper.

The update reflects current geological information developed from delineation drilling that began in 2008 and continued through 2009 and the operational experience gained since mining activities commenced in 2004. Delineation drilling is planned to continue throughout 2010 targeting specific areas categorized in the new resource as Inferred.

Mineral Resource Estimate

The mineral resource estimate as at December 31, 2009 has been verified by independent geologist Gayle Hanssen of the consulting group Digital Mining Services (Pvt) Ltd., Harare, Zimbabwe. Gayle Hanssen is a Qualified Person for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects" ("NI 43-101"). The estimate has been made in accordance with the standards specified in NI 43-101.

The mineral resource estimate reflects the new geological interpretation and resource estimate performed during December 2009.



Table 1
Mineral Resource - Combined MAIN and NW Deposits - as at December 31, 2009

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Cut-off grade Gold
(% total Tonnes Total copper Acid soluble (grams per
copper) (millions) (%) copper % tonne)
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Measured
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0.3 85.8 1.17 0.52 0.17
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0.5 57.5 1.56 0.74 0.22
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Indicated
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0.3 298.0 1.08 0.41 0.12
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0.5 178.2 1.55 0.64 0.17
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Total Measured
and Indicated
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.3 383.8 1.10 0.44 0.13
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0.5 235.7 1.55 0.66 0.18
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Inferred
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0.3 161.9 0.76 0.20 0.04
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0.5 77.8 1.17 0.35 0.06
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Notes:

1. The classification of the mineral resource is based on the relative
distribution of the copper mineralization. Gold is generally considered
to be of a lower classification category due to the relatively smaller
data set and the sporadic or "nugget" occurance. However it is necessary
to include all gold values in the mineral resource estimate to allow for
effective actual production forecasts.
2. The presence of gold can be fully supported by actual values of gold
produced at Kansanshi over the past five years.


Mineral Reserve Estimate

The mineral reserve estimate as at December 31, 2009, has been delineated and verified by independent consulting Mining Engineer, Nick Journet of DumpSolver Pty Ltd., Perth, Australia, who is a Qualified Person for the purpose of NI 43-101. The final pit designs utilized to identify the mineral reserves have been developed and verified by independent consulting Mining Engineer, Anthony Cameron of A&J Cameron and Associates, Perth, Australia, who is a Qualified Person for the purpose of NI 43-101. The estimate has been made in accordance with the standards specified in NI 43-101.

The mineral reserve estimate reflects the recoverable portion of the Indicated and Measured mineral resource and have been derived using current and predicted economic and physical values over the estimated life of mine based on a copper price of US$2.00 per pound and gold price of US$800 per ounce.

The mineral reserves are defined by the current final pit designs which have been based on a formal mining optimization assessment utilizing "Whittle 4D mining optimization software".



Table 2
Mineral Reserves - Combined MAIN and NW Deposits - as at December 31, 2009
Overall cut-off grade - 0.28% total copper

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Leach ore Mixed float
------------------------------- --------------------------------
Gold Gold
Acid (1) Acid (1)
Total soluble (grams Total soluble (grams
Class / Tonnes copper copper per Tonnes copper copper per
Pit (millions) (%) (%) tonne)(millions) (%) (%) tonne)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Main
Proved 19.70 1.86 1.29 0.20 16.70 0.83 0.18 0.31
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Main
Probable 37.50 1.88 1.32 0.25 44.00 0.99 0.22 0.19
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Total
Main Pit 57.20 1.87 1.31 0.23 60.70 0.95 0.21 0.22
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

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NW Proved 3.60 2.78 2.05 0.32 4.40 1.28 0.22 0.28
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NW
Probable 14.00 2.34 1.64 0.19 9.90 1.49 0.26 0.19
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Total
NW Pit 17.60 2.43 1.73 0.21 14.30 1.43 0.25 0.22
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total
Proved 23.40 2.00 1.41 0.22 21.10 0.92 0.19 0.30
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Total
Probable 51.50 2.00 1.41 0.23 53.90 1.08 0.23 0.19
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Total
Reserve 74.80 2.00 1.41 0.23 75.10 1.04 0.22 0.22
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sulphide
------------------------
Gold
(1)
Total (grams
Class / Tonnes copper per
Pit (millions) (%) tonne)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Main
Proved 23.00 0.65 0.14
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Main
Probable 79.70 0.68 0.13
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Total
Main Pit 102.70 0.67 0.13
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NW Proved 8.50 1.07 0.08
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NW
Probable 43.40 1.08 0.06
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Total
NW Pit 51.90 1.08 0.06
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total
Proved 31.50 0.76 0.12
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total
Probable 123.00 0.82 0.11
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total
Reserve 154.60 0.81 0.11
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Summary - Combined Main and NW mineral reserves (including gold):
Total tonnes: 304,500,000
Total copper: 1.16%
Acid soluble copper: 0.81% (Leach and mixed ore only)
Gold: 0.17 grams per tonne
Strip ratio (waste tonnes : ore tonnes): 2.18
Life of mine using mineral reserves: approx. 13 years (based on ore feed
rate of 24 million tonnes per year)

Notes:

1. There is less geological confidence associated with gold, which is due
to the smaller data set plus the sporadic or "nugget" occurrence.
2. Based on the historical production of gold at Kansanshi, it is necessary
to include it in the mineral reserves to allow effective mine planning,
design and scheduling. However the reduced level of geological
confidence should be acknowledged.
3. The mineral reserves are included in the mineral resources.


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

G. Clive Newall, President

12g3-2b-82-4461

Listed in Standard and Poor's

Certain statements and information herein, including all statements that are not historical facts, contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable U.S. and Canadian securities laws. Such forward-looking statements or information include but are not limited to statements or information with respect to future price of copper or gold, estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources, our exploration and development program, estimated future expenses, exploration and development capital requirements, and our goals and strategies. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements or information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate" or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.

With respect to forward-looking statements and information contained herein, we have made numerous assumptions including among other things, assumptions about the price of copper and gold, anticipated costs and expenditures and our ability to achieve our goals. Although our management believes that the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that a forward-looking statement or information herein will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information.

See our annual information form and our quarterly and annual management's discussion and analysis for additional information on risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to the forward-looking statements and information. Although we have attempted to identify factors that would cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those disclosed in the forward-looking statements or information, there may be other factors that cause actual results, performances, achievements or events not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. Also, many of the factors are beyond our control. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. We undertake no obligation to reissue or update forward-looking statements or information as a result of new information or events after the date hereof except as may be required by law. All forward-looking statements and information made herein, are qualified by this cautionary statement.

Contact Information

  • First Quantum Minerals Ltd. - North American contact
    Sharon Loung
    (647) 346-3934 or Toll Free: 1 (888) 688-6577
    (604) 688-3818 (FAX)
    sharon.loung@fqml.com
    or
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd. - United Kingdom contact
    Clive Newall
    President
    +44 140 327 3484
    +44 140 327 3494 (FAX)
    clive.newall@fqml.com
    www.first-quantum.com
    or
    Hogarth Partnership Ltd.
    Simon Hockridge
    +44 (0) 20 7357 9477