Equinox Preliminary Lumwana Production Results show Continued Improvement for
the 3rd Quarter 2009

TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Equinox Minerals Limited (TSX and ASX symbol: "EQN") ("Equinox" or the "Company") announced today its preliminary production statistics for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 ("Q3-2009") from its 100% owned Lumwana Copper Mine ("Lumwana") in Zambia. During this period, Lumwana continued the ramp up phase for both the mine and process plant operations. Preliminary Q3-2009 copper production statistics demonstrate continued improvement on the Q1-2009 and Q2-2009 production results:

    
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    LUMWANA MINE PRODUCTION STATISTICS         Q1 2009   Q2 2009   Q3 2009*

    Total mine material movement     tonnes(m)    8.88     20.80     29.89

    Ore mined                        tonnes(m)    1.84      3.03      4.02

    Ore processed                    tonnes(m)    2.88      3.03      3.82

    Head grade                         Cu %       0.93%     0.98%     0.92%

    Copper recovery                    Cu %         83%       82%       80%

    Concentrate grade                  Cu %         39%       39%       47%

    Copper produced in concentrate    tonnes    22,263    24,413    28,111

    Copper produced in concentrate   pounds(m)   49.08     53.82     61.97
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    * Preliminary production statistics.

    During the quarter, the Company's key areas of focus were as follows:

    -   Total material movement increased by 44% compared to Q2-2009.
        Productivity of both the mine truck and shovel mobile equipment fleet
        continued to improve with added focus being applied to further
        improve mining fleet productivity. Productivity experts Jamieson
        Group remain engaged assisting site management to improve
        productivity performance;

    -   Equinox took delivery of an additional Caterpillar light fleet
        (comprising 16 x 40t articulated dump trucks, 5 x 100t dump trucks, 2
        excavators and 3 bulldozers). This fleet has primarily been utilized
        to accelerate stripping of weathered material. Sub-contractor light
        fleets are also operating for civil works and stripping;

    -   Ore mined increased by 33% compared to Q2-2009. Malundwe is currently
        operating from 4 sub-pits. As additional sub-pits are opened up along
        the strike of the ore body, further transitional (mixed sulphide-
        oxide) ore continues to be encountered. However as further mining in
        Malundwe exposes more consistent sulphide ore, the negative impact of
        mixed ores on recoveries will diminish;

    -   Lower metallurgical recoveries continued to impact production due to
        the proportion of transitional ore being processed. For Lumwana ore,
        recoveries in transition material typically range 50-60% whereas
        those in full sulphide ores range 92-94%. Orebody studies by
        consultants Golder & Associates show that the Malundwe resource
        reconciliations are consistent with the original mine design,
        although grade dilution is occurring as a consequence of using higher
        bench heights of 8m as opposed to the 4m used in the original mine
        plan. Bench heights have been increased to improve mining efficiency.
        These studies also confirm original estimates that the transition ore
        constitutes about 5% of the orebody;

    -   Uranium: Mining of the uranium zones at Valeria South and Valeria
        North within the Malundwe pit has produced a stockpile of 1.94mt @
        1,044 ppm U and 0.81% Cu to date. This copper-uranium ore is being
        diverted away from the copper concentrator, and is being classified
        as 'waste' to the copper project. This uranium-rich copper ore
        stockpile may be treated at a later date, if and when the Company
        builds a uranium plant; and

    -   Wet Season Preparation: Following the experience of mining at Lumwana
        during the 2008-09 wet season, pit preparation has been substantially
        enhanced for the forthcoming 2009-10 wet season. Diversion channels
        to control surface water ingress into the pit have been constructed,
        substantial sumps excavated for the collection of in-pit water and
        pumping capacity has been doubled since 2008. In addition, all main
        ramps and roads have been sheeted and surfaced with bitumen emulsion
        to improve road conditions, particularly during wet periods.
    

Management believes that based on the work underway in preparation for the forthcoming wet season, a continuing focus on mining fleet productivity, the commissioning of further trolley-assist infrastructure to help improve truck cycle times and the increasing exposure of new sulphide ore zones, that Q4-2009, subject to wet season conditions, should demonstrate additional improvement on quarterly production to date. As such, the Company expects production of approximately 110,000 tonnes of copper for full calendar year 2009. Full details for the quarter will be provided in the Company's Q3-2009 results expected to be released mid-November 2009.

Commenting, Craig Williams said that "production in Q3-2009 was a further improvement on Q2-2009. We continue to ramp up, predominantly focusing on improving material movement as our large Lumwana copper process plant has already demonstrated capacity to operate at and above design throughput levels. The Lumwana operations team is well prepared for the forthcoming wet season and, while we expect some constraints during this period, mine productivity should continue to improve in Q4-2009 and into the 2010 dry season."

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

    This press release contains certain information which may constitute
    "forward-looking statements" and/or "forward-looking information" within
    the meaning of securities laws. Forward-looking information can often,
    but not always, 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. Forward-looking
    information may relate to management's future outlook and anticipated
    events or results and may include statements or information regarding its
    future plans or prospects of the Company. Without limitation, statements
    that the uranium stockpile may be treated at a later date if the Company
    builds a uranium plant; the fourth quarter should be a further
    improvement on quarterly production; 2009 production will be in the range
    of 110,000 tonnes of copper; the Company expects some constraints during
    the upcoming wet season; and that mine productivity should continue to
    improve in the fourth quarter and into the 2010 dry season,, are forward-
    looking statements. The purpose of forward-looking information is to
    provide the reader with information about management's expectations and
    plans for 2009.

    Forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions
    regarding, among other things, anticipated financial or operating
    performances of Equinox, its subsidiaries and their respective projects;
    future prices 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; the sale of future production and the performance of off-
    takers; 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. Without limitation, in stating that the uranium stockpile may
    be treated at a later date if the Company builds a uranium plant, the
    Company has assumed that the costs of building such a plant will be
    feasible, that the materials, labour, regulatory approvals and other
    requirements will be available and that the price and demand for uranium
    will be profitable. In stating that the fourth quarter should be a
    further improvement on quarterly production; and that mine productivity
    should continue to improve in the fourth quarter and into the 2010 dry
    season, the Company has assumed that the distribution of the copper
    mineralization described in the Amended Technical Report dated April 2009
    is accurate and that it will successfully mine through the oxide and
    transition mineralization in the weathering profile and reach the more
    consistent sulphide ore and that its ongoing efficiency programs and
    efforts will continue to result in productivity improvements. Further in
    relation to mining of the orebody, it assumes that it will successfully
    segregate the uranium mineralization within the copper orebody at the
    lower 200ppm U cutoff grade. In stating that the Company expects some
    constraints during the upcoming wet season, the Company has assumed that
    similar constraints to those in the first and second quarters may reoccur
    and although the Company has implement various proactive measures to
    mitigate such constraints it may not be possible to completely eliminate
    them. In stating that 2009 production guidance will be in the range of
    110,000 tonnes of copper metal in concentrates, the Company has assumed
    that its efficiency study by its third party consultants will be
    completed or substantially completed and that the results of the study
    will confirm its forecast. While the Company continues to evaluate and
    address its productivity issues, the full impact of them on the Company's
    annual production target, earnings and ability to meet its obligations
    can not be ascertained at this time. Similarly, there can be no assurance
    on the affect of these issues on the Company's debt service obligations
    or loan covenants under its banking facilities and its offtake
    obligations. The Company is actively evaluating and addressing these
    issues with the expectation of mitigating them in the near term.

    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.
    These factors include risks inherent in the exploration and development
    of mineral deposits; operational risks inherent in the conduct of mining
    activities; risks relating to changes in copper and uranium prices;
    changes in demand and supply of copper and uranium; uncertainties
    inherent in the estimation of mineral reserves and resources; risks
    inherent in the estimation of future production and future production
    costs; the estimation of cash costs of copper production; risks related
    to the Company's indebtedness including risks related to meeting its
    financial covenants; financing risks; risks related to interest rates,
    exchange rates; inflation or deflation; changes in the value of the U.S.
    dollar to foreign currencies; political and economic conditions of major
    copper-producing countries; risks inherent in securing off-take
    arrangements and terms and/or enforcing such terms; insurance, government
    regulation, licences and permits and environmental risks; risks inherent
    in the estimation of reclamation costs; risks related to the Company's
    hedging activities; litigation; competition and reliance on key
    personnel. These risks are discussed in the section entitled "Risk
    Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated March 27, 2009.
    Although Equinox has attempted to identify statements containing
    important factors that could cause actual actions, events 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.

    Scientific and technical information contained in this press release has
    been prepared under the supervision of Robert Rigo, BEng., FAusIMM,
    MIEAust, Vice President, Project Development of Equinox who 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 information contained in this release,
    but should read the Amended Technical Report which is posted on Equinox's
    website at www.equinoxminerals.com and filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com
    and any future amendments to such report. Reader are also directed to the
    cautionary notices and disclaimers contained therein.

    Readers are cautioned not to rely solely on the summary of such
    information contained in this release, but should also read the final
    prospectus dated April 16, 2009 and the documents incorporated by
    reference therein, particularly, the Annual Information Form dated March
    27, 2009, all of which are filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). Readers are
    also directed to the cautionary notices and disclaimers contained herein.
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SOURCE Equinox Minerals Limited

For further information: For further information: Craig R. Williams, (President and Chief Executive Officer), Michael Klessens, (Vice President - Finance and Chief Financial Officer), Phone: +61 (0) 8 9322 3318, Email: equinox@equinoxminerals.com Or Kevin van Niekerk, (V.P. Investor Relations), 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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