The company says the open pit resource at Lonshi has increased from 295 000 t (650-million pounds) to 356 000 t (785-million pounds) of contained copper. The deposit remains open to depth and additional targets have been identified within synformal geological structures along the prospective Lonshi host formations, to the North and South of the existing resource.
"We are very pleased with the result of our 2002 drilling campaign, which added approximately 60 000 t of copper to the Lonshi resource. Approximately 97% of the resource is classified in the measured category, which will allow for detailed mine planning for many years in the future,” says Alan Stephens, vice president of exploration.
“In addition, our understanding of the Lonshi deposit has improved and this has had a major impact on our exploration efforts, both along strike of the Lonshi ore-body and regionally within the Congo pedicle. In 2003, we will carry out additional exploration drilling for oxide mineralisation along strike, as well as at depth, to evaluate the exciting potential of the high-grade sulphide mineralisation identified in 2002".
The resource is based on the results of 9 187 m of drilling in 187 drill-holes (134 reverse circulation, 16 diamond core, 37 aircore) utilising a 0,8% acid-soluble copper cut-off grade. The ore-body was modelled to a depth of approximately 130 m. The resource was calculated by M G Hanssen, of Digital Mine Services in Zimbabwe.
Mike Parker, First Quantum's project manager at the Lonshi Mine, with more than 16 years’ experience in the mining industry, is the Qualified Person responsible for the design and conduct of the work performed. The new resource estimate has been prepared and classified in accordance with the standards established under National Instrument 43-101.