First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

October 13, 2010 09:16 ET

First Quantum Minerals Provides Progress Report on Drilling and Evaluation Program at Sentinel Deposit, Zambia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 13, 2010) - (All figures expressed in US dollars, unless otherwise noted)

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) is pleased to provide a progress report on the drilling and development evaluation program currently underway at its Sentinel deposit (formerly Kalumbila) which forms part of the Trident project.


  • Resource drilling commenced in March 2010; nearly 50,000 metres completed in 148 holes to date with 14 rigs now on site
  • Detailed sections drilled through central part of the resource demonstrate excellent continuity of mineralization
  • Wide intercepts of mineralization (greater than 200 metres) encountered down dip of previous drilling
  • Drilling emphasis now moving to strike continuity and extensions
  • A timeline has been established to complete a mining licence application by Q2 2011
  • Preliminary metallurgical testwork has demonstrated that the ore can be concentrated using standard flotation technology typical to most mines in the Copperbelt
  • Social and economic studies are in progress with a view to delivering a full Environmental Impact Statement in Q2 2011
  • Regional exploration program on potential satellite copper and nickel prospects has been initiated
  • A decision to proceed with development of the project is subject to results of these resource and mine studies, securing all relevant permits and approval by the Company's board of directors

Commenting on the program to date, Mr. Philip Pascall, Chairman and CEO, said, "Based on drilling to date, we believe that this resource could be in the range of at least 300 million to 400 million tonnes at a headgrade in the range of 0.65% to 0.80% copper and as a result, the program has been extended to cover a strike length of approximately 11.5 kilometres. Assuming the results of further work are consistent with work to date, the potential exists for a larger resource. On this basis, we are carrying out an evaluation and permitting process for an operation based on an annual throughput rate of 25 million tonnes per annum. At present, based on our experience with other development projects, we expect the capital cost to develop, including the necessary infrastructure, could be in the range of $600 million to $800 million. Should the final resource estimate be closer to the upper end of our expectations, we may consider a larger operation. At this stage, both mining and processing conditions appear to be relatively straightforward, so again in comparison to other sulphide producing operations in the Copperbelt, we would expect the unit cash cost of production to be in the range of our Zambian operations. Although we do not anticipate having a NI-43-101 compliant resource for several months yet, for the purposes for our internal study, we have assumed recoveries in the range of 90% to 95% which is typical of chalcopyrite ores in the Copperbelt.

While we have set a very tight schedule to get to a potential development decision, which we anticipate could happen in Q2 2011 followed by a two and a half year construction phase leading to production in 2014, we are confident that the final resource estimate will support this approach," Mr. Pascall concluded.

The potential quantities and grades and other technical parameters discussed in this document are conceptual in nature only. There has been insufficient exploration to define a NI-43-101 compliant resource and it is uncertain whether further exploration will result in the Sentinel deposit being delineated as a mineral resource and whether the Sentinel deposit will be developed into a mine.

About the Trident Project

The Trident project comprises five prospecting licences totaling 2,300 square kilometres containing a number attractive base metal prospects including the Sentinel deposit. The Trident project, approximately 150 kilometres from Solwezi in north-west Zambia, was obtained through the acquisition of Kiwara PLC in February 2010.

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 estimation of mineral resources and grades, future annual rates of production, future exploration and development capital requirements, future cash costs, and future recovery rates at Sentinel, future mining and processing conditions at Sentinel, our exploration and development program at Sentinel, and our goals and strategies. Insufficient work has been completed at Sentinel to define a NI-43-101 compliant mineral resource and there is no certainty that future work will delineate a mineral resource at Sentinel and no certainty that Sentinel will be developed into a mine. Information about potential quantities and grades are based on assumptions from work completed to date and the Company's experience in other development projects. 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.

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)
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd. - United Kingdom Contact
    Clive Newall
    +44 140 327 3484
    +44 140 327 3494 (FAX)
    Hogarth Partnership Ltd.
    Simon Hockridge
    +44 (0) 20 7357 9477