First Quantum
Minerals’ Lonshi
operation in
the DRC
 
Vancouver, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 August 2008 – First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM) – an emerging mining and metals company, and one of the faster growing copper producers in Africa – has reported substantial increases in net sales and operating profit for the first half of 2008.

Announcing its operational and financial results for the three and six months ended 30 June 2008, the company revealed that group operating profit for the first half of 2008 had more than doubled from US$356.6 million (R2.7 billion) to US$762.1 million (R5.7 billion) – a 114% increase amounting to US$ 405.5 million (R3 billion).

Net sales during the first six months of 2008 amounted to 146 810 tonnes, which meant a raise in revenue from US$612.1 million (R4.6 billion) last year to US$1 164.1 (R8.7 billion) – a 90% increase of US$552 million (R4.1 billion) this year.

The results announcement went on to state that production to the end of June 2008 had risen to 156 593 tonnes. It added that the company continued to expect total production of 310 000 tonnes of copper for 2008, although the contribution from from the various operations had changed from previous guidance. Expected production now included 185 000 tonnes from Kansanshi, 84 000 tonnes from Frontier, 33 000 tonnes from Guelb Moghrein and 8 000 tonnes from Bwana/Lonshi.

The longer term outlook for the company underlined the fact that the Kansanshi expansion project and gold plant construction would drive further increases in production. It added that construction on the Kolwezi project was continuing on track towards its commercial start-up scheduled for the first quarter of 2010.

It said that approximately US$213 million (R1.6 billion) of the US$593 million (R4.5 billion) project budget has been committed. A number of infrastructure items have now been substantially completed – for example plant access roads, construction power, warehousing facilities and construction camp are all now in use.

In addition to continued construction of other project infrastructure during the quarter, the construction works for the process plant commenced. Project construction completion and commencement of pre-commissioning is estimated for the fourth quarter of 2009.

The announcement added that commercial start-up remained targeted for the first quarter of 2010. The plant would commence operations at 35 000 tpa of copper and 7 000 tpa of cobalt hydroxide. The plant would be designed and constructed so that its capacity could be doubled for an incremental capital cost of US$40 million (R300 million).

The mine life is expected to be 22 years at an annual production rate of 70000 tpa of copper cathode. The future development of a cobalt metal facility and the expansion of copper and cobalt capacity will be considered in light of practical experience on site and on commodity market conditions.