First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
TSX : FM
LSE : FQM

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

July 17, 2015 08:15 ET

First Quantum Minerals Clarifies Information filed in its Kansanshi Operations NI 43-101 Technical Report

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 17, 2015) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) recently filed the updated National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") Technical Reports relating to its Kansanshi mine in Zambia, Cobre Las Cruces mine in Spain and Cobre Panama project in Panama. The Technical Reports for Kansanshi and Cobre Las Cruces reflect the Resources and Reserves as previously reported in the 2015 Annual Information Form ("AIF") which was filed in March 2015; updated for mining depletion to May 31, 2015.

Findings, Assumptions and Limitations of the Filed Kansanshi Operations NI 43-101 Technical Report May 31, 2015:

  • Kansanshi's long-term future is confirmed by the updated Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of 840 million tonnes ("Mt") @ 0.72% total copper ("TCu") using a 0.2% TCu cut-off grade. The Company believes there is considerable upside potential through the Inferred Resource of 669 Mt at 0.6% TCu. These figures compare with a Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of 856 Mt @ 0.72% TCu using a 0.2% TCu cut-off grade, as at the AIF date of March 31, 2015. The corresponding Inferred Resource is 670 Mt at 0.6% TCu. (Note: the AIF figures were stated at a 0.3% TCu cut-off grade). The change in Mineral Resource inventory reflects mining depletion.
  • Kansanshi's Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves are confirmed at 668 Mt @ 0.7% TCu, excluding stockpiles. On-going grade control and delineation drilling are expected to increase Reserves through the upgrading of the Inferred material. These figures compare with the Proved and Probable Mineral Reserve of 692 Mt @ 0.7% TCu, as reported in the AIF dated March 31, 2015 (excluding stockpiles). The change in mining inventory reflects the combined effect of mining depletion, applied mining dilution/recovery factors and differences in plant feed type classifications.
  • The requirements of the NI 43-101 define that only Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources can be considered for the delineation of the Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves, hence the Mineral Reserves and the production schedule shown in the Kansanshi's Technical Report do not contain any Inferred Resource.
  • Kansanshi's operating history has shown that the Inferred Resource has consistently made a positive contribution to ore feed. Historically, conversion of Inferred material into the Measured and Indicated categories has been up to 80% in certain areas.
  • Given this track record, Kansanshi's internal planning considers Inferred Resource to ensure practical and efficient outcomes are identified, and this is routinely used in the mine's planning and forecasting.
  • The S3 expansion was deferred (late in 2013) and the Technical Report figures therefore do not project this expansion of sulphide plant capacity nor the consequent gold production.
  • The estimation of gold production utilizes grades within the geological model which has historically underestimated actual gold produced.
  • The planning process at Kansanshi is on-going and opportunities for improving the short-term copper and gold production are currently being identified. In addition, certain regions of the plan contain inferred material which, as history shows, could be converted as operations progress and have an impact on ore feed and production.
  • For these reasons, the projected production of copper and gold shown in the production schedule within the Technical Report are conservative and serve only to satisfy the requirements of 43-101. They are not intended as guidance.
  • The mine's focus on cost reduction and operational efficiency enhancements, particularly recoveries, continues and this in turn could have an impact on operating margins and production.
  • The impact on the Kansanshi mine of sulphuric acid produced by the Company's copper smelter, currently under commissioning has been conservatively applied to the operating scenario reflected in the Technical Report.

Qualified Persons

The filed Technical Report for Kansanshi was prepared by the following First Quantum personnel who are Qualified Persons for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects":

  1. David Gray, BSc (Geology), MAusIMM, PrSciNat (SACNASP) - Group Mine & Resource Geologist,
  2. Mike Lawlor, BEng Hons (Mining), MEngSc, FAusIMM - Consultant Mining Engineer,
  3. Robert Stone, BSc Hons, CEng, ACSM - Technical Manager (Process).

The scientific and technical information regarding the Kansanshi reserves and resources estimates set out in this news release has been reviewed and approved by John Gregory, Group Consulting Engineer for the Company. Mr. Gregory is a "Qualified Person" as defined by NI 43-101.

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

Cautionary statement on forward-looking information

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 securities laws. These forward-looking statements are principally included in the Development activities section and are also disclosed in other sections of the document. The forward looking statements include estimates, forecasts and statements as to the Company's expectations of production and sales volumes, expected timing of completion of project development at Kansanshi, the impact of ore grades on future production, the potential of production disruptions, capital expenditure and mine production costs, the outcome of mine permitting, the outcome of legal proceedings which involve the Company, information with respect to the future price of copper and gold, and sulphuric acid, estimated mineral reserves and mineral resources, First Quantum's exploration and development program, estimated future expenses, exploration and development capital requirements, the Company's hedging policy, and 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, the Company has made numerous assumptions including among other things, assumptions about the price of copper, gold and sulphuric acid, anticipated costs and expenditures and the ability to achieve the Company's goals. Although 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 the 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. These factors include, but are not limited to, future production volumes and costs, costs for inputs such as oil, power and sulphur, political stability in Zambia, adverse weather conditions in Zambia, labour disruptions, mechanical failures, water supply, procurement and delivery of parts and supplies to the operations, the production of off-spec material.

See the Company's Annual Information Form for additional information on risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to the forward-looking statements and information. Although the Company has 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 these factors are beyond First Quantum's control. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. The Company 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.

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