VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 29, 2015) -

(In United States dollars, except where noted otherwise)

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) today announced comparative earnings1 of $18 million or $0.03 per share and cash flows from operations, before changes in working capital and tax paid, of $157 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.


  • Kansanshi's smelter reaches commercial production status ahead of expectation:
    • Average copper recovery achieved for the month of June was above design at 97.69%.
    • During the six-month commissioning and ramp-up period, approximately 157,600 tonnes of copper concentrate was processed comprised of a mixture of stockpiled and fresh concentrate from our Kansanshi mine and fresh concentrate from our new Sentinel mine.
    • Production totaled 46,700 tonnes of copper anode and 201,300 tonnes of sulphuric acid.
    • Realized benefits to the Kansanshi mine to date:
      • Reduced concentrate inventory.
      • Increased utilization of the oxide leach circuit - over 25% higher than Q1 2015.
      • Improved availability of sulphuric acid.
      • Improved access to smelter capacity.
  • All aspects of Sentinel continued to ramp up during Q2 with testing ahead of completion of full power infrastructure in August 2015:
    • Train 1 achieved periods of above nameplate capacity. Ramp-up encountering softer transitional material.
    • Commissioning of Train 2 is expected in Q3, following completion of full power infrastructure which is on track for August.
    • Reduced power supply to Zambian operations will likely impact the ramp-up and commercial production date at Sentinel.
  • Realized prices for all major metals below comparative 2014 quarter - copper 11%, nickel 29%, gold 5%.
  • Production in line with full year guidance while better cash operating cost, excluding royalties, results in cash cost guidance reduction:
    • Q2: Copper - 104,233 tonnes at $1.22 per pound; Nickel - 9,059 tonnes at $4.68 per pound; Gold - 56,725 ounces
    • Full year 2015 guidance: production estimates maintained for all major metals while cash operating cost for copper reduced to $1.25 - $1.40 per pound and for nickel to $4.75 - $5.00 per pound.
  • Comparative earnings1 were $18 million or $0.03 per share in Q2 2015 excluding the impact of impairment and foreign exchange losses.
  • Net loss attributable to shareholders of the Company1 of $101 million includes a $117 million impairment on the ENRC $430 million Promissory Note. An amendment to the terms was agreed in July whereby the amount was reduced to $300 million. Of this amount, $215 million was paid in July 2015 with the remaining $85 million to be satisfied by October 2015.
  • Completed an equity issuance for net proceeds of $1,121 million of which $1 billion was used to repay senior debt facilities. With this, the Company is well-positioned to continue to build production capacity ahead of the expected improvement in commodity prices.
  • Development of the Cobre Panama project progressed on plan with no change to the capital budget of $6.4 billion.
  • On July 25, 2015, electricity supply to all mines, including First Quantum's, in North Western province of Zambia was reduced due to low water levels in the reservoirs. As a result, Kansanshi is operating at reduced capacity while the Sentinel process plant has been closed since July 27, 2015. Various options to alleviate the effect on production are being evaluated. Agreement has been reached to redirect the majority of Sentinel's power allocation to enable Kansanshi to operate close to full capacity, while delaying the ramp-up at Sentinel. The duration of the supply reduction or its impact on production is not currently known.

1 Net earnings (loss) attributable to shareholders of the Company have been adjusted to exclude impacts which are not reflective of underlying performance to arrive at comparative earnings. Comparative earnings and comparative earnings per share are not measures recognized under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") and do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. The Company has disclosed these measures to assist with the understanding of results and to provide further financial information about the results to investors. Refer to the "Regulatory Disclosures" section in the MD&A for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 for further information.


"During the quarter, we launched and completed an equity issue. The decision to do so was based on our belief of a stronger copper market following this period of weakness. Proceeds from this initiative provide the Company with the financial flexibility to continue to build its production base. We are thankful to several long-time and new shareholders whose support made the issue a success, noted Philip Pascall," First Quantum's Chairman and CEO.

"Operationally we remain on course to achieve the production guidance outlined at the beginning of the year. Kansanshi's production and unit production cost profiles are evolving with ramp-up of the smelter as planned and Ravensthorpe's high-pressure acid leach circuit continues to perform very well. Our efforts to optimize the operating margin while maintaining safe and efficient workplaces got a significant boost with the operation of the smelter as expected. With this, our overall unit copper production cost is at similar levels of 18 months ago. Nevertheless, we continue to exercise prudence in cash outlays and look for optimization opportunities to ensure First Quantum is well-positioned to benefit fully in stronger markets," Mr. Pascall concluded.


Three months
ended June 30
Six months
ended June 30
(U.S. dollars millions, except where noted otherwise) 2015 2014 2015 2014
Sales revenues 610 945 1,260 1,836
Gross profit 54 292 80 574
Net earnings (loss) attributable to shareholders of the Company1 (101 ) 134 (183 ) 261
Earnings (loss) per share ($0.16 ) $0.23 ($0.30 ) $0.44
Diluted earnings (loss) per share ($0.16 ) $0.23 ($0.30 ) $0.44
Comparative earnings1 18 152 6 282
Comparative earnings per share1 $0.03 $0.26 $0.01 $0.48
Comparative EBITDA1 161 402 281 775
Cash flow from operations, before changes in working capital and tax paid 157 389 288 759
1 Net earnings (loss) attributable to shareholders of the Company and EBITDA have been adjusted to exclude impacts which are not reflective of underlying performance to arrive at comparative earnings and comparative EBITDA. Comparative earnings, comparative earnings per share and comparative EBITDA are not measures recognized under IFRS and do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. The Company has disclosed these measures to assist with the understanding of results and to provide further financial information about the results to investors. Refer to "Regulatory Disclosures" section in the MD&A for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 for further information.


Three months
ended June 30
Six months
ended June 30
(U.S. dollars where applicable) 2015 2014 2015 2014
Copper production (tonnes) 1 104,233 107,808 200,551 220,926
Copper sales (tonnes) 84,382 114,449 179,567 217,235
Cash cost of copper production (C1)2 (per lb) $ 1.22 $ 1.45 $ 1.31 $ 1.41
Realized copper price (per lb) $ 2.65 $ 2.97 $ 2.61 $ 3.03
Nickel production (contained tonnes) 9,059 12,223 15,327 24,061
Nickel sales (contained tonnes) 8,721 10,651 14,427 24,748
Cash cost of nickel production (C1)2 (per lb) $ 4.68 $ 4.16 $ 4.57 $ 4.30
Realized nickel price (per payable lb) $ 5.98 $ 8.45 $ 6.21 $ 7.38
Gold production (ounces) 56,725 60,723 109,507 120,887
Gold sales (ounces) 50,804 60,135 100,684 113,261
1 Includes pre-commercial production for Sentinel of 5,799 tonnes for the three months ended June 30, 2015 and 6,802 tonnes for the six months ended June 30, 2015, which are excluded from earnings.
2 Cash costs (C1) is not recognized under IFRS. Refer to the "Regulatory Disclosures" section in the MD&A for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 for further information.


  • Total production
    • Copper between 410,000 and 440,000 tonnes
    • Nickel between 32,000 and 40,000 tonnes
    • Gold between 218,000 and 247,000 ounces
    • Zinc between 40,000 and 45,000 tonnes
    • Platinum between 25,000 and 35,000 ounces
    • Palladium between 20,000 and 23,000 ounces
    • In addition, total physical production at Sentinel was expected to be between 80,000 and 100,000 tonnes of copper. Production guidance for Sentinel is currently under review following the closure of the process plant as a result of the imposed reduction in power supply.
  • Cash cost of production
    • Copper between $1.25 and $1.40 per pound, inclusive of post-commercial production at Sentinel
    • Nickel between $4.75 and $5.00 per pound
  • Capital expenditures, excluding capitalization of any pre-commercial production costs and capitalized interest, of approximately $1.4 billion including $600 million for the Cobre Panama project. In 2016, focus will be on optimizing the phasing of capital expenditure at Cobre Panama, while keeping the project on track.


The Company will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the results on Thursday, July 30, 2015.

Conference call and webcast details are as follows:

Date: July 30, 2015
Time: 9:30 am (EDT); 2:30 pm (BST); 6:30 am (PDT)
Dial in: North America: (toll free) 1 800 743 4304
International and North America: 1 647 722 6866
United Kingdom: 0 800 692 2011 (toll free) or 44 208 196 2146
Replay: Canada and international: 1 416 626 4100
North America (toll free): 1 800 558 5253
United Kingdom: 0 800 692 0831 (toll free) or 44 870 000 3081
Passcode: 21771949

The conference call replay will be available from 11:00 am (EDT) on July 30 until 11:59 pm (EDT) on August 6, 2015.


The complete unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements, and MD&A for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 are available at and should be read in conjunction with this news release.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

G. Clive Newall, President

Cautionary statement on forward-looking information

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, Sentinel, Enterprise and Cobre Panama, 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, information with respect to the future price of copper, gold, cobalt, nickel, zinc, pyrite, PGE, and sulphuric acid, estimated mineral reserves and mineral resources, First Quantum's exploration and development program, estimated future expenses, exploration and development capital requirements, the Company's hedging policy, and 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, the Company has made numerous assumptions including among other things, assumptions about the price of copper, gold, nickel, zinc, pyrite, PGE, cobalt and sulphuric acid, anticipated costs and expenditures and the ability to achieve the Company's goals. 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 the 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, Spain, Turkey, Panama, Argentina and Australia, adverse weather conditions in Zambia, Finland, Spain, Turkey and Mauritania, labour disruptions, mechanical failures, water supply, procurement and delivery of parts and supplies to the operations, and the production of off-spec material.

See the Company's Annual Information Form for additional information on risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to the forward-looking statements and information. Although the Company has 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 First Quantum's control. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. The Company undertakes 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.


Listed in Standard and Poor's

Contact Information:

North American contact:
Sharon Loung
Director, Investor Relations
(647) 346-3934
(604) 688-3818 (FAX)
Toll Free: 1 (888) 688-6577

United Kingdom contact:
Clive Newall
+44 140 327 3484
+44 140 327 3494 (FAX)