"Equinox Files a New Technical Report for Lumwana".
TORONTO, ON, May 20, 2011: Equinox Minerals Limited (TSX and ASX symbol: "EQN") ("Equinox" or the "Company") announced today that it has filed an updated National Instrument 43-101 compliant Technical Report for Lumwana. The updated Technical Report supports in particular Equinox's February 2, 2011 disclosure on the proposed expansion of Lumwana to a processing throughput rate of 45 million tonnes per annum ("Mtpa") as subsequently updated.
The main changes contained in the revised Technical Report reflects a number of updates to the previously filed Technical Report for Lumwana, including in particular (i) an updated "base case" production rate of 25 Mtpa reflecting the debottlenecking project currently being undertaken at the processing plant; (ii) Mineral Resources have been updated based upon depletion for mining and drilling; (iii) Mineral Reserves have been updated based upon depletion for mining, dilution, revised copper price and operating costs; and (iv) the results of drilling and exploration activities undertaken since the prior Technical Report was re-filed in April 2009. As well, the "development case" presented in the updated Technical Report has been updated to reflect and support the proposed expansion of the processing plant at Lumwana to a processing capacity of 45 Mtpa. An exemption to include the development case which uses inferred resources in an economic evaluation has been granted by the regulatory authorities consistent with previous exemptions granted to Equinox. That expansion is the subject of a feasibility study that is currently underway.
The revised Technical Report also contains an exploration target developed based on 2010 drilling results, which had previously been disclosed by Equinox on February 2, 2011. Equinox used this exploration target for pit optimisation studies at a long term copper price of $2.50/lb which indicates that a mineral inventory of 1.0 to 1.5 billion tonnes at 0.6% copper could be realised when further drilling is completed. This potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
On April 25, 2011, Equinox announced an agreement with Barrick Gold Corporation pursuant to which Barrick has agreed, subject to the terms of a support agreement, to make an offer to purchase all outstanding common shares of Equinox by way of negotiated take-over bid at a price of C$8.15 per share in cash. Barrick subsequently commenced its offer to acquire the Equinox common shares on April 26, 2011. The Equinox board of directors has unanimously recommended that Equinox shareholders ACCEPT the Barrick offer, and DEPOSIT their shares under the offer.