Equinox Minerals Limited
TSX : EQN
ASX : EQN

Equinox Minerals Limited

March 22, 2006 08:58 ET

ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc to take US$30 million Private Placement in Equinox Minerals Limited

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 22, 2006) -

THIS NEWS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES, AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER OF THE SECURITIES DESCRIBED HEREIN

Equinox Minerals Limited (TSX:EQN)(ASX:EQN) ("Equinox" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into a non-brokered US$30 million private placement Subscription Agreement with ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (LSE: ZCC) ("ZCCM") pursuant to which ZCCM has agreed to purchase from Equinox the following Common Shares of the Company ("Shares"):

(a) on or about March 31, 2006 (the "Initial Subscription Date"), ZCCM will purchase US$15 million of Equinox Shares at a price per Share equal to 1.20 times the volume-weighted average trading price ("VWAP") of Shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") calculated over the five Business Day period immediately preceding the Initial Subscription Date; and

(b) no later than June 30, 2006, (the "Second Subscription Date"), ZCCM will complete its investment in Equinox with the purchase of the remaining balance of US$15 million of Equinox Shares at a price per Share equal to 1.15 times the 5 day VWAP of Shares on the TSX calculated immediately preceding the Second Subscription Date.

A representative of ZCCM will be invited to join the board of Equinox Copper Ventures Limited, Equinox's 100% owned Zambian subsidiary. The net proceeds of the offering will be used to fund, in part, the development of Equinox's Lumwana copper project in Zambia, for expanded Zambian exploration and for general working capital.

These securities have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States unless registered under the Act or unless an exemption from registration is available. This private placement transaction is subject to TSX approval.

ZCCM is the 86.6% owned subsidiary investment vehicle of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Ltd., the national mining company of the Government of the Republic of Zambia. ZCCM holds equity investments in many Zambian mining organizations including Chambishi Metals Plc, Chibuluma Mines Plc, Copperbelt Energy Corporation, Kansanshi Mining Plc, Konkola Copper Mines Plc, Luanshya Copper Mines Plc and Mopani Copper Mines Plc.

Commenting on the offering, Mr Craig Williams, Equinox President and Chief Executive Officer said, "This investment in Equinox by ZCCM facilitates Zambian investment participation in the Lumwana Project, emphasizing the importance of the development of the Project to the Republic of Zambia. It also underlines the renaissance occurring in mining in this open-market, mining friendly country. We welcome the opportunity to cement a constructive relationship with the Zambian investment community. Our objective to construct the largest copper mine in Africa is progressing towards the closing of debt financing and commencement of construction in mid-2006."

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of Equinox.

Cautionary Language and Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements", which are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Investors are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and results. Risks and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Company's disclosure documents filed from time to time with the Canadian and Australian securities authorities.

Contact Information