First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

October 01, 2010 02:02 ET

First Quantum Minerals Launches International Arbitration in Washington Relating to Frontier and Comisa

Update on Legal Proceedings Against the Democratic Republic of Congo

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2010) - (All figures expressed in US dollars, unless otherwise noted)

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) announced today that its subsidiaries International Quantum Resources Limited, Frontier SPRL ("Frontier") and Compagnie Minière de Sakania SPRL ("Comisa") have commenced international arbitration under the facilities of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID") in Washington, United States of America against the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC").

The arbitration relates to the unjustified withdrawal and reissue of certain mining titles (the "Permits") held by First Quantum's subsidiaries, Frontier and Comisa, by the DRC in violation of the provisions of the DRC Mining Code and applicable law. The Permits authorized Frontier and Comisa to explore, develop, and operate copper mines, particularly at the Lonshi and Frontier deposits, respectively, in the DRC Copperbelt. First Quantum contests the validity of the DRC's expropriation of the Permits and illegal possession of the Company's investments and assets, seeks their return and is pursuing damages as compensation for the losses the Company has suffered with respect to the DRC's actions.

The Comisa and Frontier ICSID arbitration forms part of First Quantum's overall effort to pursue its legal rights in relation to its assets in the DRC. Other actions currently underway include a legal claim against subsidiary companies of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC ("ENRC") in the British Virgin Islands and the Kolwezi arbitration before the ICC in Paris against the DRC.

Clive Newall, President of First Quantum, said:

"Today we are launching another important part of the ongoing pursuit of our legal rights relating to our investments in the DRC. We will continue to drive this legal process to its conclusion. We are determined to achieve a just outcome and to uphold the standards of good governance, not only for our shareholders, but also for the Congolese people.

In 2009, First Quantum was by some considerable distance the DRC's single largest taxpayer and we have been one of the country's major employers. The Kolwezi project and now the Frontier mine both now sit idle resulting in the unemployment of almost 2,000 Congolese workers, the cessation of all of the social programs initiated by First Quantum and the loss of significant revenues to the DRC. It would be a tragedy, for the people of the DRC, if the Frontier, Lonshi and Kolwezi resources could not be developed to their optimal by responsible, reputable operators who have a long-term view on the country and are willing to contribute to the community and treasury in a fair and legal manner."

The Company reserves its right to take further legal action against third parties and will provide further updates as warranted.

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

G. Clive Newall, President

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, gold, nickel, PGE, cobalt and sulphuric acid, 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.

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