First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") reported today that it has filed on SEDAR the National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") Technical Report for its Trident project dated 31st May 2015 (the "Trident Technical Report"). The Trident Technical Report includes current Mineral Resources and Reserves estimates for both Sentinel and Enterprise, and supersedes the two NI 43-101 Technical Reports dated May 2012 (the "2012 Sentinel Technical Report") and December 2012 (the "2012 Enterprise Technical Report").
The Trident Technical Report is being filed in accordance with an undertaking provided to the British Columbia Securities Commission in relation to the Company's equity issue in May 2015. Among other things, that undertaking required that technical disclosure formerly included in the 2012 Sentinel Technical Report and the 2012 Enterprise Technical Report be consolidated into a single technical report in respect of the Trident project.
- Sentinel Mineral Resources and Reserves estimates support the 2015 Annual Information Form ("AIF") statement, and updated to reflect depletion status as at 31st May 2015.
- Compared with the 2012 Sentinel Technical Report, the Mineral Resources estimate has been updated utilizing infill drill hole data from 2013, and represents an increase in contained copper of 4%. Improved geological confidence has allowed previously classified Indicated Resources to be upgraded into the Measured category by a factor of 44%.
- The Sentinel Mineral Resource model has been developed to suit actual mining dimensions and hence ore dilution can be estimated with greater certainty.
- Compared with the estimate in the 2012 Sentinel Technical Report, the Mineral Reserves estimate has increased by 29% (contained copper). This increase has arisen through a differing cut-off grade strategy, selected to improve the plant feed grade profile within the first half of the mine life, together with the subsequent addition of lower grade feed to maintain plant throughput at 55 million tonnes per year for each year of a mine life now extended to 19 years.
- Relative to the 2012 Sentinel Technical Report estimate, the new Sentinel Mineral Reserve estimate has been based on more detailed mine planning and production scheduling, incorporating the in-pit crushing/conveying and trolley assist systems that have since been installed.
- Relative to the 2015 AIF, Enterprise Mineral Resources and Reserves reflect an interim update with no material change. On-going geological and metallurgical work will continue to further refine the operational strategy that will be developed for Enterprise.
- Whilst a notional twelve continuous years of mining operations are scheduled for the Enterprise Mineral Reserves, the timeframes and continuity of production are yet to be established. A production start-up time for Enterprise is yet to be determined, and pre-strip mining activities are yet to commence.
The filed Technical Report was prepared under the direction and supervision of the following First Quantum personnel who are Qualified Persons for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 "Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects":
- David Gray, BSc (Geology), MAusIMM, PrSciNat (SACNASP) - Group Mine & Resource Geologist,
- Mike Lawlor, BEng Hons (Mining), MEngSc, FAusIMM - Consultant Mining Engineer,
- Andrew Briggs, BSc(Eng), ARSM, FSAIMM, PEng (NAPEG) - Group Consulting Project Metallurgist.
The scientific and technical information regarding the Sentinel and Enterprise Mineral Resource and Reserve estimates set out in this news release has been reviewed and approved by John Gregory, Group Consulting Engineer for the Company. Mr. Gregory is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors of First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
G. Clive Newall, President