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First Quantum Confirms Receipt of Written Confirmation of Offer for Electricity Tariff and Board Approval for Construction of the Sentinel Project

09.05.2012  |  Marketwired

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/09/12 -- First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX: FM)(LSE: FQM) today announced that it has received a written confirmation of an offer from Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited ("Zesco"), for the connection and supply of power to the proposed Sentinel copper project in Zambia at a mutually-agreeable electricity tariff level. The Company's Board of Directors has accepted these commercial terms in principle and as a result, has formally approved the construction of the project.


"Electric power is particularly important to this project and we are very pleased to be starting full-scale development activities within the original timeframe at the beginning of the dry season for completion in late 2014. Sentinel is planned to be a substantial copper operation, with an expected annual production capacity of up to 300,000 tonnes of copper, and be a major contributor to the Zambian economy through the creation of more than 2,000 direct jobs for Zambians."


"Our very large investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to Zambia and its people," noted Philip Pascall, Chairman and CEO of First Quantum.


About the Sentinel Copper Project


The Sentinel copper project in Zambia is part of the Trident project that is located approximately 150 kilometres west of the Company's flagship Kansanshi mine. Its maiden mineral resource and reserve estimate was released in March 2012. An estimated measured and indicated resource of 1,027 million tonnes ("Mt") at 0.51% copper grade, containing 5.2 Mt of copper has been delineated, inclusive of an estimated recoverable proven and probable mineral reserve of 774 Mt at 0.50% copper grade, containing 3.9 Mt of copper. The life of mine strip ratio is anticipated to be 2.2:1 and the estimated mine life is in excess of 15 years. Large-scale mining licenses for the development of the Trident project, including the Sentinel project, were received from the Government of the Republic of Zambia in April 2011.


Project capital costs for Sentinel are estimated at US$1.7 billion.


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


Forward-Looking Statements


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, Kevitsa and Sentinel, 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 in the RDC and other countries, information with respect to the future price of copper, gold, cobalt, nickel, PGE, and sulphuric acid, estimated mineral reserves and mineral resources, our exploration and development program, estimated future expenses, exploration and development capital requirements, the Company's hedging policy, 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. 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, Peru, Mauritania, Finland and Australia, adverse weather conditions in Zambia, Finland and Mauritania, labour disruptions, mechanical failures, water supply, procurement and delivery of parts and supplies to the operations, the production of off-spec material.


See our Annual Information Form 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 these 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.

Contacts:

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. - North American Contact

Sharon Loung

Director, Investor Relations

(647) 346-3934 or Toll Free: 1 (888) 688-6577

(604) 688-3818 (FAX)
sharon.loung@fqml.com


First Quantum Minerals Ltd. - United Kingdom Contact

Clive Newall

President

+44 140 327 3484

+44 140 327 3494 (FAX)
clive.newall@fqml.com
www.first-quantum.com


Maitland - United Kingdom Contact

Brian Cattell/James Devas

+44 207 379 5151

+44 20 7379 6161 (FAX)
jdevas@maitland.co.uk
bcattell@maitland.co.uk




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