First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
LSE : FQM
TSX : FM

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

March 27, 2006 09:30 ET

First Quantum Minerals Announces New Discovery at RSF Prospect, Democratic Republic of Congo

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 27, 2006) -

INCLUDING DRILL INTERCEPT OF 80 METRES GRADING 2.20% COPPER AND 0.25% COBALT

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) is pleased to announce the results of 25 reverse circulation drill holes completed at the RSF prospect, and 3 reverse circulation drill holes completed at the Subo prospect, both located within its wholly owned Kibamba Exploration Permit 851, Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC"). A total of 25 reverse circulation drill holes totaling 2,430 meters and 9 diamond drill holes totaling 1863.1 meters were drilled at the RSF prospect between October and December 2005. An additional 300 meters of reverse circulation drilling in 3 drill holes and 443.7 meters of diamond drilling in 2 drill holes were completed at the Subo Prospect, located 2.1 kilometres south of the RSF prospect. All reverse circulation drill holes at RSF were drilled at -60 degrees. Results for the diamond drill holes will be announced in due course.



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Drill Intersections greater than 0.3%Tcu
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Acid Acid
Hole Hole Total Soluble Total Soluble
Depth From To Interval Copper Copper Cobalt Cobalt
(metres) (metres)(metres) (metres) (%) (%) (%) (%)
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RSF01 100 2 82 80 2.20 1.98 0.25 0.13
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RSF02 74 38 68 30 0.73 0.62 0.04 0.03
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RSF03 89 9 84 75 1.12 1.05 0.03 0.02
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RSF04 91 0 72 72 1.20 1.10 0.07 0.05
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RSF05 100 8 36 28 0.75 0.70 0.12 0.10
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RSF05 100 55 78 23 0.78 0.71 0.03 0.02
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RSF05 100 93 100 7 0.60 0.40 0.11 0.05
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RSF06 98 41 63 22 0.93 0.68 0.24 0.17
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RSF06 98 72 87 15 0.55 0.37 0.07 0.02
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RSF07 100 No significant intersections
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RSF08 100 No significant intersections
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RSF09 100 No significant intersections
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RSF11 100 21 42 21 0.40 0.28 0.16 0.15
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RSF12 100 No significant intersections
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RSF13 100 25 100 75 0.44 0.27 0.05 0.03
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RSF14 100 39 74 35 0.61 0.32 0.08 0.06
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RSF15 100 12 66 54 0.90 0.67 0.14 0.10
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RSF16 100 18 100 82 1.88 1.65 0.12 0.05
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RFS17 100 23 64 41 0.89 0.49 0.18 0.10
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RFS18 100 No significant intersections
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RSF19 100 No significant intersections
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RSF20 96 27 58 31 0.41 0.35 0.07 0.07
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RSF21 100 No significant intersections
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RSF22 100 No significant intersections
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RSF23 100 No significant intersections
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RSF24 100 23 52 29 0.41 0.11 0.03 0.02
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PTRSF 82 18 31 13 0.41 0.09 0.31 0.15
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SU01 100 78 95 17 0.67 0.31 0.08 0.04
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SU02 100 26 100 74 0.68 0.47 0.02 0.01
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SU03 100 28 46 18 0.49 0.11 0.05 0.02
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Alan Stephens, Chief Consulting Geologist commented, "RSF is the latest grass roots discovery to have resulted from the ongoing systematic exploration of our large Copperbelt land position. We are encouraged by the significant widths of mineralization encountered in this first round of reconnaissance drilling, and by the areal extent of the system. Several soil anomalies remain to be tested and follow-up drilling on these and the RSF and Subo Prospects is planned to commence in June 2006. This new discovery, following on from our earlier successes at Frontier, Kashime and Lonshi, provides further confirmation that our generative program in both Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to bear fruit."

Kibamba Exploration Permit 851 is located approximately 75 kilometrers west of the town of Likasi, within the DRC portion of the Central African Copperbelt, and is accessed by dirt road. First Quantum completed an airborne magnetics and radiometrics survey in 2004, and has carried out soil geochemistry in 2004 and 2005 over the entire Exploration Permit. Four trenches were excavated at the Subo Prospect in 2004. Minor artisinal mining has taken place on the permit and at the third party owned Menda and Mindigi prospects which are located on the northern and eastern boundaries of the permit.

The RSF and Subo prospects are sited within a sinuous 10 kilometre long, structurally complex zone of prospective stratigraphy comprised of mega fragments of Mine Series dolomitic sediments within Lower Mwashia Formation sediments and volcanics. At the RSF prospect, mineralisation encountered to date is predominantly oxide and occurs as disseminations and segregations of malachite and heterogenite in residual highly weathered dolomitic shales, siltstones, and breccias. At depth, sulphide mineralisation occurs as chalcopyrite-quartz-calcite veins cross-cutting silicified dolomites and dolomitic shales. The mineralised holes at RSF define an 800m x 300m zone, open along strike at both ends and more work is required to fully understand the controls of mineralisation. At the Subo prospect, mineralisation comprises mostly malachite occurring as disseminations and in cross-cutting quartz-calcite veins in pyroclastic units of the Lower Mwashia. No sulphide mineralisation has been intersected to date at Subo.

Reverse circulation drilling at RSF and Subo was carried out by Boart Longyear Inc of Ndola, Zambia, while diamond drilling was carried out by Ox Drilling of Ndola, Zambia and Kluane Drilling of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. First Quantum personnel supervised the chain of custody from the drill site to the laboratory, and conducted all sampling. The RC samples were collected, split, and ticketed at the rig during the program on a meter by meter basis. The sample rejects are stored at the Company's in-house sample storage facility in Lubumbashi. After logging on site, the diamond drill cores were transported to Lubumbashi where sawing was carried out at an in-house facility. Half core samples were taken and the samples bagged and ticketed. The remaining half cores remain in storage at the Company's in-house sample storage facilities in Lubumbashi. Both the reverse circulation and core samples were transported door-to-door by a dedicated courier service from Lubumbashi to the accredited Genalysis Laboratory Services Sample Preparation Laboratory in Johannesburg, RSA. Sample pulps were flown by courier to Genalysis Laboratory Services Pty Ltd of Maddington, Western Australia, Australia. All samples were assayed initially for total copper and cobalt by high temperature perchloric acid oxidative attack digestion with a hydrochloric acid final leach and AAS finish. Those initial samples reporting over 2500ppm copper or 750ppm cobalt were re-assayed using a 4 acid digestion for ore grade analysis with AAS finish, and for acid soluble copper and cobalt. Appropriate blanks and standards were introduced into the assay line under the supervision of Digital Mining Services of Harare, Zimbabwe.

Mike Parker, MAusIMM, Exploration Manager - DRC Northern Pedicle for First Quantum, a geologist with 20 years of experience, and Alan Stephens, FIMMM, Chief Consulting Geologist for First Quantum, a geologist with 30 years of experience, were responsible for the design and conduct of the program, and are the qualified persons for the purposes of NI 43-101.


On Behalf of the Board of Directors

of First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

"G. Clive Newall"

G. Clive Newall

President

12g3-2b-82-4461

Listed in Standard and Poor's

Sedar Profile #00006237

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.

To view a map of the New Discovery at RSF Prospect, Democratic Republic of Congo, please go to CCNMatthews' website and click on the following link:

http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/RSF.pdf

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)
    or
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
    Bill Iversen
    North American Contact
    (604) 688-6577 or Toll Free: 1-888-688-6577
    (604) 688-3818 (FAX)
    info@first-quantum.com
    or
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
    Clive Newall, President
    United Kingdom Contact
    +44 140 327 3484
    +44 140 327 3494 (FAX)
    clive.newall@first-quantum.com
    or
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
    Carina Corbett
    United Kingdom Contact
    + 44 20 7907 4761
    www.first-quantum.com