First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

August 20, 2007 09:30 ET

First Quantum Minerals Advises US $10.5 Million Coventree Investment

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2007) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) announced that in July, 2007, the Company invested on the recommendation of its bank, HSBC Bank Canada, a total of US $10.5 million in short term R1 rated notes with three separate trusts managed under the Coventree Capital Group Inc.

As a result of recent disruptions in global credit markets Coventree announced on Aug. 13 and 14, 2007, that it was experiencing market disruption and as a result was unable to meet its repayment obligations until its liquidity providers finance such repayments.

Notes totaling US $7.5 million held by First Quantum which became due and payable on August 14 and August 15 were not paid and remain outstanding. A third note for US $3 million is due and payable on August 23, 2007. First Quantum will continue to monitor the situation with HSBC Bank Canada and Coventree. Coventree has publicly stated that this situation has been caused by a disruption in the liquidity in certain areas of the market for asset backed securities rather than the creditworthiness of its underlying assets and the funds continue to be rated R1-High.

In addition to the cash invested in these three Coventree Managed Trusts, First Quantum holds US $40.2 million in other short term R1 rated commercial notes that mature predominantly by August 27, 2007 and no later then September 17, 2007. These commercial notes are in good standing backed by the following companies; Encana Corp. (US $11 million), Potash Corp. (US $8.5 million), Hypo Real Estate Bank (US $19.3 million), Selkirk Trust (US $0.8 million) and Volkswagen Credit (US $0.6 million). Other R1 rated commercial notes that have matured since August 13 totaling $15.3 million have been repaid in the normal course and have been placed on short term deposit with HSBC Bank Canada.

At the end of the second quarter of 2007, First Quantum had cash of US $182.5 million (which included the above commercial note investments), working capital of US $390.8 million and available lines of credit of US $100 million. First Quantum's operations have not been impacted and the Company advises that it has sufficient cash available to maintain all of its operations and developments while this matter is resolved.

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 "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and 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.
    Geoff Chater
    North American Contact
    (604) 688-6577 or Toll Free: 1-888-688-6577
    (604) 688-3818 (FAX)
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
    Clive Newall, President
    United Kingdom Contact
    +44 140 327 3484
    +44 140 327 3494 (FAX)
    Hogarth Partnership Ltd.
    Harriet Pask
    +44 (0) 20 7357 9477
    Hogarth Partnership Ltd.
    Sarah MacLeod
    +44 (0) 20 7357 9477