Equinox Establishes Additional Debt Facility for Project Completion and Lumwana Insurers Accept Fire Indemnity



    
    /NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWS WIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN
    THE U.S./
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Equinox Minerals Limited (TSX and ASX symbol:
"EQN") ("Equinox" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the signing of a
new US$80.0 million loan facility ("New Loan Facility") underwritten by
Standard Bank Plc and Standard Chartered Bank and to be provided by certain
members of the existing Lumwana Copper Project (the "Project") banking
syndicate. The New Loan Facility is structured on similar terms to the
commercial tranche of the US$583.8 million Project finance debt facilities as
announced December 01, 2006.
    Equinox believes it prudent and advantageous to establish the additional
debt finance facility at this time. The Company has also successfully
renegotiated the repayment schedule to commence at the end of Q3-09 with
respect to some elements of the US$583.8 million facilities reflecting the
revised Project startup timetable.
    The New Loan Facility will enable the Company to meet the additional
working capital requirements that resulted from the delayed startup. Equinox
considers that the establishment of this New Loan Facility is preferable to
drawing down its existing US$45.0 million Contingent Funding Facility, thereby
ensuring that the Company maintains appropriate levels of liquidity while
limiting shareholder dilution. The Contingent Funding Facility (as announced
June 29, 2007) was established to provide the Company with a Project cost
overrun provision and remains available to Equinox.
    On July 07, 2008 Equinox announced that an electrical fire incident (the
Incident") at the Project caused damage to the 20MVA transformer and adjacent
11KV substation subsequently delaying commissioning and the commencement of
copper concentrate production from the Project. The Company reports that
rectification works remain on schedule for a December 2008 commissioning (as
announced July 18, 2008) with all replacement equipment now available on site
for installation and remediation.
    Following the Incident, the Company reports that insurance enquiries have
now concluded with the Project insurance syndicate accepting indemnity for the
Incident and the Company quantifying its losses for submission to the
insurers. The Company also confirms that it is continuing to receive
liquidated damages from its EPC Contractor (a joint venture between Ausenco
Projects Limited and Bateman International Projects BV, a subsidiary of
Bateman Engineering NV).
    Mr Craig Williams, Equinox's President and CEO commented, "The New Loan
Facility is evidence of the strong confidence our banking syndicate has in the
Project. Along with confirmation of receipt of our Incident insurance
indemnity, Equinox and its shareholders can now be afforded, during this
unprecedented period of market volatility, the necessary levels of stability
and liquidity required to expeditiously move the Project into copper
concentrate production and deliver further shareholder value."

    
    On Behalf of the Board of Directors of Equinox:

    Craig R. Williams - President & Chief Executive Officer
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    Cautionary Language and Forward Looking Statements
    --------------------------------------------------

    This press release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-
    looking information", which may include, but is not limited to,
    statements with respect to the future financial or operating performances
    of Equinox, its subsidiaries and their respective projects, the future
    price of copper and uranium, the estimation of mineral reserves and
    resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and
    amount of estimated future production, estimated costs of future
    production, capital, operating and exploration expenditures, costs and
    timing of the development of the Lumwana Project, the costs of Equinox's
    hedging policy, costs and timing of future exploration, requirements for
    additional capital, government regulation of exploration, development and
    mining operations, environmental risks, reclamation and rehabilitation
    expenses, title disputes or claims, and limitations of insurance
    coverage. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be
    identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected",
    "is expecting", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts",
    "intends", "anticipates", or "believes", or variations (including
    negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain
    actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", or "will" be
    taken, occur or be achieved. The purpose of forward-looking information
    is to provide the reader with information about management's expectations
    and plans for the Company. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking
    information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
    factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements
    of Equinox and/or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any
    future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the
    forward-looking information. Such factors include, among others, those
    factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's
    annual information form, which is available at www.SEDAR.com. Although
    Equinox has attempted to identify statements containing important factors
    that could cause actual actions, event or results to differ materially
    from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other
    factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those
    anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking information contained
    herein are made as of the date of this document based on the opinions and
    estimates of management on the date statements containing such forward
    looking information are made, and Equinox disclaims any obligation to
    update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new
    information, estimates or opinions, future events or results or
    otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information
    will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could
    differ materially from those anticipated in such information.
    Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking
    information.

    Technical information in this release is summarized or extracted from the
    "Amended Technical Report on the Lumwana Copper Project, North Western
    Province, Republic of Zambia" dated June 2008 (the "Technical Report"),
    prepared by Michael Davis, Process Manager, Ausenco Ltd. ("Ausenco"),
    Ross Bertinshaw, Principal of Golder Associates Pty Ltd. ("Golder"),
    Andrew Daley, Director, of Investor Resources Finance Pty Ltd ("IRF"),
    Daniel Guibal, Corporate Consultant (Geostatistics and Resources), of SRK
    Consulting (Australasia) Pty Ltd ("SRK") and Robert Hanbury, Associate
    Director, of Knight Piésold Pty Ltd. ("Knight Piésold"), each of whom is
    a "Qualified Person" in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 -
    Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

    Readers are cautioned not to rely solely on the summary of such
    information contained in this release, but should read the Amended
    Technical Report which is posted on Equinox's website
    (www.equinoxminerals.com) and filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and any
    future amendments to such report. Readers are also directed to the
    cautionary notices and disclaimers contained herein. All currency in this
    release is U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.
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For further information:

For further information: Craig R. Williams, (President and Chief
Executive Officer), Michael Klessens, (V.P. Finance and CFO), Phone: +61 (0) 8
9322 3318, Email: equinox@equinoxminerals.com; or Kevin van Niekerk, (V.P.
Investor Relations/Corporate Development), Phone: (416) 865-3393, Email:
kevin.van.niekerk@equinoxminerals.com; For information on Equinox and
technical details on the Lumwana Project please refer to the company website
at www.equinoxminerals.com

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Equinox Minerals Limited

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