Equinox signs final offtake agreements for Zambia copper project

18th July 2007

Copper-miner Equinox has signed five-year sale and purchase agreements with Mopani copper mines and Glencore International for a total of 600 000 t of copper concentrate, the company said on Wednesday.

Mopani is a joint venture company controlled by Glencore (73,1%). The other shareholders are First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (16,9%) and Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (10%), according to Equinox.

Mopani operates the Mufulira mine, smelter and copper refinery and the Nkana mine and cobalt plant, in Zambia.

The agreements, which were carrying base commitments of 120 000 t/y of copper concentrate, would take effect from the start of the company's Zambian Lumwana mine's production schedule, in mid-2008, Equinox said in a statement.

The contracted commitments would be distributed 66,7% for delivery to Mopani, for toll treatment at the Mufulira smelter, and 33,3% delivery to Glencore for trading.

The agreements also granted Glencore, from Switzerland, a first option right to process further additional yearly quantities of Lumwana copper concentrates.

Lumwana, located in the North Western province of Zambia, will produce an average of 169 000 t/y of copper metal contained in concentrates for the first six years of its 37 year mine life.

Equinox stated that construction remained on schedule for commissioning in the second quarter of 2008.

“These agreements complete the placement of 100% of the current Lumwana scheduled production into firm offtake agreements, meet yet another key milestone to project financing and secure Equinox's presence in a growing and stable part of southern and central Africa," CEO Craig Williams said.