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First Quantum Minerals Reports Operational and Financial Results for the Three and Six Months Ended June 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

First Quantum Minerals Reports Operational and Financial Results for the Three and Six Months Ended June 30, 201217:00 EDT Wednesday, August 01, 2012VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2012) -First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) - (In United States dollars, tabular amounts in millions, except where noted)First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") today announced its results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2012. The complete financial statements and management's discussion and analysis are available for review at www.first-quantum.com and should be read in conjunction with this news release.First Quantum's President, Clive Newall, will host a conference call and live webcast to discuss the results on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 6:00 am (PST); 9:00 am (EST); 2:00 pm (BST). The call and webcast will be available on www.first-quantum.com and by dialing 416-340-9432or toll free in North America on 877-240-9772.First Quantum's results have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). SUMMARIZED OPERATING AND FINANCIAL RESULTSThree months ended June 30Six months ended June 30(USD millions unless otherwise noted)2012201120122011Copper production (tonnes)71,54364,587137,412139,475Copper sales (tonnes)72,71165,511140,500136,176Cash cost of copper production (C1)1 (per lb)$1.53$1.43$1.56$1.28Realized copper price (per lb)$3.48$3.81$3.57$3.91Nickel production (contained tonnes)8,053-16,626-Nickel sales (contained tonnes)9,846-15,178-Cash cost of nickel production (C1)1 (per lb)$5.70-$5.70-Realized nickel price (per lb)$7.84-$8.21-Gold production (ounces)43,79841,08786,29390,233Gold sales (ounces)46,44538,42692,06483,775Sales revenues722.3660.01,451.01,365.2Gross profit274.7363.2545.0802.7Net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Company142.0155.31,478.9362.0Earnings per share$0.30$0.36$3.12$0.84Diluted earnings per share$0.30$0.33$3.10$0.76Comparative earnings2142.0155.3261.0362.0Comparative earnings per share2$0.30$0.36$0.55$0.841 Cash costs (C1) are not recognized under IFRS. See "Regulatory Disclosures" for further information. 2 Earnings attributable to shareholders of the Company have been adjusted to remove the effect of unusual items to arrive at comparative earnings. Comparative earnings and comparative earnings per share are not measures recognized under IFRS and do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. The Company has disclosed these measures to assist with the understanding of results and to provide further financial information about the results to investors. See "Regulatory Disclosures" for a reconciliation of comparative earnings. Note: Copper, nickel and gold produced at Kevitsa during its commissioning phase in Q2 2012 has been excluded from group production figures shown above. See "Summary of results" for further information. Overall copper production was 11% higher than Q2 2011 on increased throughput and gradeTotal copper production was 11% higher than Q2 2011 due to higher sulphide ore grades processed at Kansanshi and higher throughput from the expansion of the oxide circuit. Guelb Moghrein achieved another strong period of throughput however production was lower than the prior year period as a result of lower grades processed.Total gold production was 7% higher than Q2 2011 due to higher throughput and recovery at Kansanshi. Ravensthorpe follows successful commencement of operations with another strong quarter in Q2 2012Nickel production was in-line with plan and C1 costs were below plan for Q2 2012 on the back of continued, efficient operation of the plant. Year-over-year comparative earnings impacted by lower average realized copper priceSales revenues increased to $722.3 million as a result of nickel revenue from Ravensthorpe, higher copper and gold sales volumes, offset partially by the impact of lower copper prices.Cash costs of copper production increased as a result of inflationary cost pressures principally related to sulphuric acid, energy and other consumables, offset partially by higher production.Comparative earnings were lower than Q2 2011 due to lower realized copper prices and higher production costs. This was offset partially by the earnings contribution from Ravensthorpe and higher sales volumes of copper and gold. Kevitsa first production achieved in Q2 2012; commercial production on track for Q3 2012First concentrate was produced on May 26, 2012. Mining and processing activities continue to ramp up as forecasted towards design production levels. Development projects progressingMechanical construction for the oxide circuit 7.2 million tonnes per annum ("Mtpa") upgrade is complete and optimization of the new circuit elements is planned for Q3 2012. The stage two expansion to 14.5 Mtpa is on track for commissioning in the first half of 2013.The fifth Kansanshi acid plant is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of Q3 2012 which will allow for full utilization of the 7.2 Mtpa oxide circuit capacity in Q4 2012.Detailed design works on the smelter continued in Q2 2012. The overall project is scheduled for construction completion in mid-2014 followed by commissioning and ramp up.Board approval for the full Sentinel project was given on May 9, 2012, resulting in a ramp-up of project development activities. Strong financial position maintained to finance development projectsCash of $0.9 billion and available debt facilities of $1.3 billion as at June 30, 2012.Cash generated by operations totalled $232.9 million for the quarter and $371.4 million for the year to date. Operational outlook for 2012 Expected production unchanged at approximately; 270,000 to 290,000 tonnes of copper, 36,000 to 40,000 tonnes of contained nickel and 170,000 to 190,000 ounces of gold.Expected average C1 cash cost for copper operations unchanged at approximately $1.55 per pound of copper.Expected average C1 cash cost for Ravensthorpe reduced from previous guidance, to approximately $6.50 per pound of nickel.Expected total capital expenditure unchanged at approximately; $1.2 to $1.4 billion in 2012. OPERATIONSKansanshi Copper and Gold OperationThree months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Copper production (tonnes)62,82556,156119,436120,953Copper sales (tonnes)63,75057,621122,295120,694Gold production (ounces)28,24425,41755,40256,029Gold sales (ounces)29,16225,94459,47057,154Sulphide ore tonnes milled (000's)2,3792,7243,8125,042Sulphide ore grade processed (%)1.00.71.00.8Sulphide copper recovery (%)94939494Mixed ore tonnes milled (000's)2,0931,6964,6553,334Mixed ore grade processed (%)1.11.01.11.1Mixed copper recovery (%)64626466Oxide ore tonnes milled (000's)1,5481,4692,9722,986Oxide ore grade processed (%)2.02.12.02.3Oxide copper recovery (%)84868586Cash costs (C1) (per lb)1$1.52$1.41$1.53$1.26Total costs (C3) (per lb)1$1.93$1.68$1.88$1.53Gross profit231.2333.7467.6734.21 C1 and C3 costs are not recognized under IFRS. See "Regulatory Disclosures" for further information.Copper production increased by 12% from Q2 2011 due to higher ore grade and throughput in Q2 2012. The ongoing mine pit development work has increased the availability of sulphide ore and allowed for the reconfiguration of the sulphide and mixed circuits in May 2012. The circuit capacity for sulphide and mixed ore treatment is now approximately 12 Mtpa and 6.5 Mtpa, respectively. Sulphide ore grade processed improved significantly from Q2 2011 due to the exposure of additional sulphide ore faces at target grades. In Q2 2012, the temporarily interchanged sulphide and mixed circuits had offsetting variances in throughput in comparison to Q2 2011. The combined mixed and sulphide circuit throughput was consistent with Q2 2011. The mixed ore circuit benefited from improved grades and recoveries in Q2 2012. Following the circuit interchange, the reduced throughput on the mixed ore circuit allowed longer residence time in flotation resulting in improved recoveries. Copper production from the oxide circuit was in-line with Q2 2011 as increased throughput was offset by lower ore grade and recovery. The recent incorporation of elements of the 7.2 Mtpa oxide expansion improved plant availability and utilization in the quarter. The availability of locally-sourced sulphuric acid remained a constraint on the grade and tonnes of oxide ore processed in the current period. Gold production was 11% higher than Q2 2011 due primarily to improved recovery. The continued gold circuit enhancements and improvements have resulted in a higher proportion of gold recovered in dore, which is not subject to the smelter deductions applied to gold recovered in concentrate. Q2 2012 C1 costs increased by $0.11/lb from Q2 2011. Inflationary pressures have resulted in cost increases for sulphuric acid and some consumables. These increases were largely offset by the unit cost effect of 12% higher production in Q2 2012. Realization costs were $0.05/lb higher than Q2 2011 due to a higher proportion of concentrate sales during the period. Gross profit was lower than Q2 2011 due primarily to lower realized copper prices, offset partially by higher sales volumes in Q2 2012. Outlook The main areas of focus are on sulphuric acid supply and increasing the flexibility of ore sources for the three circuits. Available mining areas have increased as planned with several new areas in the main and north-west pits now providing ore. Further improvements are anticipated with additional plant operational efficiency and flexibility afforded by multiple concurrent mining areas. The full benefit of the 7.2 Mtpa upgrade is expected to be realized in Q4 2012, coinciding with the commissioning of the fifth acid plant. The additional leach and CCD capacity in the oxide process circuit is expected to contribute to maximizing output from available ore resource through improved recovery, as well as providing the capacity to efficiently operate at higher treatment rates. All parties involved in the Q1 2012 labour dispute continue to be engaged in a legal process aimed at resolving the differences. Guelb Moghrein Copper and Gold OperationThree months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Copper production (tonnes)8,7188,42917,97618,520Copper sales (tonnes)8,9617,81018,20513,841Gold production (ounces)15,55415,67030,89134,204Gold sales (ounces)17,28312,48232,59426,621Sulphide ore tonnes milled (000's)7536311,5501,389Sulphide ore grade processed (%)1.31.51.31.5Sulphide copper recovery (%)88918992Cash costs (C1) (per lb)1$1.61$1.62$1.73$1.44Total costs (C3) (per lb)1$2.20$2.49$2.33$2.26Gross profit21.538.745.971.91 C1 and C3 costs are not recognized under IFRS. See "Regulatory Disclosures" for further information.Copper production increased 3% over Q2 2011 due to 19% higher throughput. Partially offsetting the higher throughput were lower ore grades and recoveries. The better throughput performance in 2012 to date is a result of the mill optimization works and improved blast fragmentation aimed at achieving steady state operations. Copper grades in 2012 reflect the current ore profile in the pit and are expected to remain at these levels in the future.Gold production was consistent with Q2 2011 as the increase in throughput was offset by reduced gold recovery in Q2 2012. Cash cost of production was slightly lower than Q2 2011 as an increased gold credit outweighed increases in cash operating costs in Q2 2012. The gold credit was higher as a result of increased gold sales volumes and prices in Q2 2012. Operating costs have increased from Q2 2011 due to increased costs for personnel, maintenance, consumables and due to the unit cost impact of processing lower grade ore. Gross profit was lower than Q2 2011 as a result of lower realized copper prices and higher operating costs, offset partially by increased metal sales volumes and a higher realized gold price. Outlook Process plant enhancements continue with a focus on consistent operation at steady state to maximize product recovery and concentrate quality. An additional mill from the mothballed Bwana Mkubwa copper plant is planned to be installed in Q4 2012 to stabilize milling at targeted throughput rates. Additional mining equipment, to facilitate higher mine production rates, is planned for commissioning in Q4 2012. Operations were temporarily suspended and 12 production days were lost following an illegal strike action by some unionized employees in July. The majority of the workforce has returned to work and operations have resumed. The Company continues to work through a government-facilitated mediation process to resolve the differences with the unions.Ravensthorpe Nickel OperationThree months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Nickel production (contained tonnes)8,053-16,626-Nickel sales (contained tonnes)9,846-15,178-Nickel production (payable tonnes)6,204-12,821-Nickel sales (payable tonnes)7,443-11,642-Beneficiated ore tonnes processed (000's)667-1,391-Beneficiated ore grade processed (%)1.6-1.6-Nickel recovery (%)77-77-Cash costs (C1) (per lb)1$5.70-$5.70-Cash costs (C3) (per lb)1$6.95-$6.94-Gross profit30.4-41.3-1 C1 and C3 costs are not recognized under IFRS. See "Regulatory Disclosures" for further information.Q2 2012 nickel production was in-line with plan as a result of steady state operation of the complete circuit. Crushing plants and ore beneficiation continue to operate above plan and ore supply from the buffer ponds are allowing for scheduled maintenance activities to be undertaken without full plant shutdowns.In-pit mining commenced in April and the first drill and blast activity occurred at the end of May. Ore feed to the crusher circuit was sourced exclusively from the mine-pit by the end of Q2 2012. Nickel cash costs per payable pound were lower than plan due to lower diesel and sulphur costs incurred. The consistent operation of the sulphuric acid plant provided for sufficient and stable power generation for the operation, resulting in reduced diesel power generation and cost in Q2 2012. Sulphur costs were also lower than plan as a result of a reduction in global prices and lower consumption. Outlook Circuit developments and enhancements for the remainder of 2012 include a focus on improved blending of ore to ensure consistent beneficiation recovery rates and leach feed material, and installation of equipment in the beneficiation area during Q3 2012 to improve flocculent consumption. Continued optimization in this area is expected to result in significant savings. Various options are also being explored to improve the payable nickel content in order to increase revenue from sales.DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIESKevitsa nickel/copper/PGE project, Finland Commissioning of the plant has progressed well, with the plant running consistently and ramping up. The first concentrate was produced on May 26, 2012. Early indications are that all major processing components, the primary crusher, secondary crusher, mills, primary screen, conveyors and flotation cells are all performing well and have the capacity to operate above the approved annual throughput rate. The transition from first ore feed, to steady state production of copper and nickel concentrate is ongoing. The mining fleet is operating as expected through the top layers of weathered rock and into the more competent material below. During the commissioning phase in Q2 2012, Kevitsa produced 642 tonnes of copper, 121 tonnes of nickel and 482 ounces of gold. At the current approved throughput rate of 5.5 Mtpa, Kevitsa is expected to produce approximately 11,000 tonnes of nickel and 20,000 tonnes of copper annually. The Company has submitted an environmental assessment and application to increase the plant throughput rate up to a maximum of 10 Mtpa. Liaison with the relevant authorities is in progress and approval is expected in the first half of 2013. With the current estimated measured and indicated resource, the increased throughput rate is expected to increase annual production to approximately 15,000 tonnes of nickel and 28,000 to 30,000 tonnes of copper while retaining a mine life in excess of 20 years. Kansanshi expansions, Zambia The multi-stage Kansanshi plant upgrade to an annual production capacity of 400,000 tonnes of copper continued in Q2 2012. Mechanical construction for the oxide circuit 7.2 Mtpa upgrade is complete. Optimization of the new circuit elements is planned for Q3 2012. The milling circuit configuration changes to increase mill throughput rates to 7.2 Mtpa is planned to be implemented once acid supply is increased through the operation of the fifth acid plant which is currently under construction and on track for commissioning at the end of Q3 2012. Progress on the stage two oxide capacity expansion to 14.5 Mtpa continued with earthworks and civil works progressing well and mechanical construction of CCDs commenced. Completion remains on target for the first half of 2013. Acid supply will dictate the rate of oxide treatment until the smelter is commissioned in mid-2014, however the output of the five acid plants as well as the current volume of acid that can be externally sourced will allow for interim treatment rates of approximately 10 Mtpa. The second phase of the 400,000 tonne annual production capacity expansion project is a proposed expansion of the sulphide treatment facilities by construction of a new section of plant capable of treating 16 Mtpa of sulphide ore. Construction of this new plant is expected to occur in two stages depending on ore grades. Project commitment is expected in Q4 2012 following completion of the resource definition drilling program, which is necessary for detailed mine planning.Copper smelter project, Zambia Kansanshi's concentrate is currently treated at smelters in Zambia, however, existing domestic smelting capacity will be insufficient to process the substantial increase in production resulting from the Kansanshi expansion and the Sentinel project. The new copper smelter will be designed to process 1.2 million tonnes of concentrate to produce over 300,000 tonnes of copper metal annually. The smelter is expected to also produce 1.0 million tonnes of sulphuric acid as a by-product at a low cost which will benefit Kansanshi by allowing the treatment of high acid-consuming oxide ores and the leaching of some mixed ores. The additional acid is also expected to optimize the expansion of the oxide leach facilities and allow improved recoveries of leachable minerals in material now classified and treated as mixed ore. Detailed design works on the smelter continued in Q2 2012. Subject to environmental approval, the overall project is scheduled for construction completion in mid-2014 followed by commissioning and ramp up.Sentinel project, Zambia A mineral resource and reserve estimate for the Sentinel copper project was released in March 2012. An estimated measured and indicated resource of 1,027 Mt at 0.51% copper grade, containing 5.2 Mt of copper has been delineated, inclusive of an estimated recoverable proven and probable mineral reserve of 774 Mt at 0.50% copper grade, containing 3.9 Mt of copper. The life of mine strip ratio is anticipated to be 2.2:1 and the estimated mine life is in excess of 15 years. The project is expected to produce up to 280,000 to 300,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate annually. The Company received a written confirmation of an offer from Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited ("Zesco"), for the connection and supply of power to the Sentinel copper project at a mutually-agreeable electricity tariff level. The Company's Board of Directors has accepted these commercial terms in principle and as a result, has formally approved the construction of the project on May 9, 2012, which was followed by a ramp up of project activities. Detailed design works are progressing well and numerous equipment commitments, including long-lead mining fleet orders, are now in place. Site establishment and construction works are in progress, with an access road, airstrip and construction camp completed. Project capital costs are estimated at approximately $1.7 billion with project completion expected during 2014. Exploration Exploration programs continued at a high level in most districts with major drilling campaigns active at Trident and Kansanshi. Trident A resource definition program on the main Enterprise nickel target is nearing completion. Geological modelling and resource estimation is planned in Q3 2012. Metallurgical test work is continuing and preliminary results show good recoveries of nickel sulphides generating a high grade nickel concentrate, especially in the central 'millerite' zone. Further metallurgical holes are planned to assess the variability of the mineralization throughout the deposit. Drilling on extensions of Enterprise in Q2 2012 defined a new zone of mineralization at "Enterprise Southwest". Although thinner and lower grade than the main Enterprise mineralization the new zone demonstrates potential for additional tonnage over a further 600 metres of strike length. Kansanshi At Kansanshi, 18 core rigs continued operating divided between incremental resource and reserve additions immediately around the existing pits and the district exploration program. These programs are designed to provide enhanced definition of longer term oxide and sulphide resource potential as well as to test the ultimate extents of the mineral system. Eight rigs are active on near-mine resource definition. During Q2 2012, encouraging results were returned from drilling around both the NW pit and Main pit, with strong intercepts of veins well beyond the currently defined resource limits. A deep hole to 1,000 metres below the centre of the Main pit reported some extensive low grade mineralization in stratigraphy well below the current pit model. Ten rigs were active on exploration drilling around Kansanshi. Resource drilling of the Southeast Dome prospect was largely completed during the period and resource modeling and estimation is in progress. A prospective new buried dome was located at 'Rocky Hill' between the Southeast Dome and Main pit and is currently the focus of systematic drill testing. Further prospective dome targets are under investigation by regional drilling. Finland Near mine drilling during the period has focused on the separate Satovaara intrusive body south of Kevitsa where limited intercepts of chalcopyrite copper mineralization continue to be returned on the contact of the intrusion. An extensive drilling program using shallow scout drills and diamond core drills continues to test the large suite of magnetic and geochemical targets defined in the area north and west of Kevitsa. Several targets have encountered magmatic sulphides including limited intercepts of massive sulphide mineralization grading up to 2.4% nickel. Follow up drilling and ground geophysics is planned to look for thicker mineralization. Shallow drilling has commenced on the 'Bonanza' target north east of Kevitsa where strong copper, gold and nickel grades are reported in surface geochemistry. Long delays in granting of exploration permits in Finland together with changes to the access permissions in state forests have combined to significantly impede exploration drilling over large areas. Peru Exploration drilling at Haquira has been suspended since January. Planned recommencement of drilling after the wet season has not been possible due to delays in the granting of drilling and environmental permits. A permit for drilling at Cristo de los Andes was received in June and permitting for Haquira is expected shortly. Six or more rigs are expected to be active during Q3 2012 with the emphasis on testing extensions of Haquira and satellite targets identified in recent magnetic and surface geochemical surveys. Several new regional prospects are under evaluation in southern Peru. Access to a large land package 40 kilometres east of Haquira was secured via an agreement with Zincore Metals Inc. ("Zincore"). First Quantum has acquired 19.9% of Zincore, and 60% of the invested proceeds will be used for regional exploration. In addition, First Quantum has taken an option to earn 75% of Zincore's early stage Dolores copper porphyry prospect. Mauritania & West Africa Five targets in Guelb Moghrein district were tested during the period. One target at 'Bull' returned low grade copper mineralization over 20 metres and requires follow up drilling. A specialized drill track-mounted rig is being mobilized to site to conduct resource drilling of the Oriental Hill copper-gold mineralization. Reconnaissance exploration including mapping and geochemical sampling continued on mafic hosted Ni-Cu-PGE targets in Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali as part of a strategic alliance with Newgenco. Permit applications are pending for new projects in Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.SALES REVENUESSales revenues (after realization charges)Three months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Kansanshi - copper451.4491.8897.11,055.0- gold36.631.981.466.0Guelb Moghrein- copper63.556.8130.1105.9- gold27.721.251.440.7Ravensthorpe- nickel128.1-208.2-- cobalt1.8-3.9-Corporate13.258.378.983.7Sales revenues from continuing operations722.3660.01,451.01,351.3Frontier - copper-(0.5)-13.2Bwana - copper-0.5-0.7Sales revenues722.3660.01,451.01,365.2Q2 2012 total sales revenues from continuing operations were 9% higher than the prior year period due to the contribution of $129.9 million of revenues from Ravensthorpe, offset by an 11% lower average copper price and lower corporate revenues. The Company's revenues are recognized at provisional prices when title passes to the customer. Subsequent adjustments for final pricing are materially offset by derivative adjustments and shown on a net basis in cost of sales (see "Hedging Program" for further discussion). Copper selling price (per lb)Three months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Average LME cash price3.574.153.674.25Realized copper price3.484.053.574.14Treatment/refining charges ("TC/RC") and freight charges(0.27)(0.24)(0.26)(0.23)Net realized copper price3.213.813.313.91The LME copper price averaged $3.57/lb for the quarter, a decrease of $0.58/lb from the average for Q2 2011. Copper experienced a downward price shift from the middle of April on what was perceived as disappointing Chinese trade and economic data. Prices came under additional pressure amid the Euro zone sovereign debt crisis which led to a broader sell off across the LME metals at the end of May. June saw the release of further downbeat Chinese data. Later in June a cut in Chinese interest rates pulled prices back up towards $3.40/lb. Nickel selling price (per lb)Three months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Average LME cash price7.7810.968.3511.60Realized nickel price per payable pound7.84-8.21-TC/RC charges(0.05)-(0.11)-Net realized nickel price per payable pound7.79-8.10-The LME nickel price averaged $7.78/lb for the quarter, a decrease of $3.18/lb from the average for Q2 2011.The European stainless industry remains cautious with the regional economic situation sustaining bearish sentiment and high levels of risk aversion. Demand for stainless in China also remains weak with many of the largest mills making greater cuts in Q2 production rates than had previously been reported or anticipated. SUMMARY FINANCIAL RESULTSThree months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Gross profitKansanshi231.2333.7467.6734.2Guelb Moghrein21.538.745.971.9Ravensthorpe30.4-41.3-Other(8.4)(9.2)(9.8)(3.4)Total gross profit274.7363.2545.0802.7Exploration(17.1)(15.4)(30.0)(34.8)General and administrative(15.7)(14.5)(33.1)(33.2)Other income1.4(10.6)1.7(7.0)Net finance income (costs)6.90.46.1(3.1)Gain on disposal of residual claim and assets--1,217.9-Income taxes(81.2)(135.8)(177.6)(284.1)Net earnings for the period169.0187.31,530.0440.5Net earnings for the period attributable to:Non-controlling interests27.032.051.178.5Shareholders of the Company142.0155.31,478.9362.0Comparative earnings142.0155.3261.0362.0Earnings per sharebasic$0.30$0.36$3.12$0.84diluted$0.30$0.33$3.10$0.77Comparative earnings per share$0.30$0.36$0.55$0.84Exploration expense increased from Q2 2011 as increased activity in Finland and at Kansanshi outweighed lower activity in Peru during the period. Exploration expenses incurred at Enterprise in 2012 are consistent with expenses incurred at the Sentinel project in 2011. Q2 2012 exploration expenses comprise primarily; $7.9 million at Enterprise $2.8 million in Finland $2.4 million at Haquira $2.0 million at Guelb Moghrein $1.0 million at Kansanshi's prospective targets General and administrative costs increased marginally from Q2 2011 as a reduction in legal costs related to 2011 République démocratique du Congo ("RDC") matters were outweighed by an increase in personnel costs driven by an increased complement of employees to develop and manage the Company's expanded pipeline of projects. On January 5, 2012, the Company reached an agreement with ENRC to dispose of its residual claims and assets in respect of the Kolwezi Tailings project, and the Frontier and Lonshi mines and related exploration interests, all located in the Katanga Province of the RDC and to settle all current legal matters relating to these interests for a total consideration of $1.25 billion. The transaction was completed on March 2, 2012. The total consideration was comprised of $750.0 million, paid on March 2, 2012, together with a deferred consideration of $500.0 million in the form of a 3-year Promissory Note with an interest coupon of 3% payable annually in arrears. Under the terms of the acquisition, ENRC acquired, with certain limited exceptions, all of First Quantum's assets and property either physically located within the RDC or relating to the operations formerly carried out by First Quantum and its subsidiaries in the RDC. In connection with the transaction, First Quantum, ENRC, the RDC Government, International Finance Corporation and Industrial Development Corporation have also settled all disputes relating to the companies being sold and their assets and operations in the RDC and each of First Quantum, ENRC, the RDC Government, International Finance Corporation and Industrial Development Corporation have released one another in respect of all claims and judgments relating to the foregoing or to any other matter arising in the RDC on or before the date of closing. The $1,217.9 million gain recognized on the disposal includes the fair value of proceeds received, net of transaction costs and the underlying net liabilities of subsidiaries disposed of. The Q2 2012 effective income tax rate was 32% of earnings before taxes. Kansanshi's effective tax rate was impacted by the treatment of hedging activities in Zambia. During Q1 2012, Kansanshi's hedging losses were not allowed as a deduction against operating income, resulting in a higher effective tax rate. In Q2 2012, these hedging losses were largely reversed, and accordingly the periodic gain did not have a corresponding tax effect, resulting in a lower effective tax rate in Q2 2012. Following the completion of its tax holiday in Mauritania on February 19, 2012, Guelb Moghrein is now subject to Mauritanian income taxes at a rate of 25%.LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCESThree months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Cash flows from operating activities- before changes in working capital219.9223.7396.8484.4- after changes in working capital232.9(55.0)371.4319.7Cash flows from financing activities(84.5)(93.6)(102.2)(141.8)Cash flows from investing activitiesPayments for property, plant and equipment(310.6)(244.1)(587.5)(433.4)Proceeds from settlement of RDC claims and sale of assets--736.5-Other investing activities(7.7)5.6(13.6)9.9Net cash flows(169.9)(387.1)404.6(245.6)Cash balance856.71,099.3856.71,009.3Cash flows from operating activities per share1before working capital (per share)$0.46$0.52$0.84$1.13after working capital (per share)$0.49($0.13)$0.78$0.751 Cash flows per share is not recognized under IFRS. See "Regulatory Disclosures" for further information. Operating cash flows before changes in working capital were comparable with Q2 2011 as lower net earnings included higher non-cash expenses in Q2 2012. The prior quarter working capital movements were impacted by a payment of $347.0 million in Zambian taxes, which resulted in negative cash flows after changes in working capital.Cash flows from financing activities comprise primarily of dividend payments made to shareholders of the Company and non-controlling interests of $61.4 million and $15.8 million, respectively. Total dividends paid in Q2 2012 increased by 27% from Q2 2011. Capital expenditure for property, plant and equipment totaled $310.6 million in Q2 2012 which comprised primarily of;$188.1 million at Kansanshi for the oxide circuit expansion and mine pit development costs $52.9 million at Kevitsa for project completion and development costs incurred during the commissioning phase $53.5 million at Sentinel, including deposits, for long-lead plant and mine equipment Proceeds from settlement of RDC claims and sale of assets represents the net cash proceeds received during Q1 2012. The $500.0 million promissory note is receivable on March 2, 2015.As at June 30, 2012, the Company had the following contractual obligations outstanding: Total< 1 year1 - 2 years2 - 3 years3 - 4 years4 - 5 yearsThereafterDebt39.725.35.04.74.7--Accounts payable and current taxes559.0559.0-----Deferred payments4.10.40.2---3.5Finance leases27.72.12.12.32.42.616.2Commitments892.6892.6-----Restoration provisions255.61.31.31.31.31.3249.1Total commitments of $892.6 million comprise primarily of capital expenditure for property, plant and equipment related to the development of Sentinel, upgrades at Kansanshi and other projects. The significant capital expansion and development program is expected to be funded using available cash and debt facilities. Currently the $250.0 million Kevitsa debt facility and $1.0 billion Kansanshi senior term and revolving facility are undrawn and available for drawdown. The Company's working capital, together with future cash flows from operations and available debt facilities is expected to be sufficient to fund the Company's committed and planned capital expansion and development programs. Hedging program As at June 30, 2012, the following derivative positions were outstanding:Maturity 2012June 30, 2012December 31, 2011AssetLiabilityAssetLiabilityForeign currencyUSD/EUR extendible collar - PrincipalEUR9.0-(0.1)-(0.2)Strike price1.250-1.330Copper (a)Futures sales contracts over quotation period (tonnes)45,67319.4(7.0)1.9(5.1)Average price ($/tonne)$7,695Embedded derivative hedged by future sales contracts (tonnes)44,639----Average price ($/tonne)$7,605Net provisional copper exposure (tonnes)(1,034)Gold (a)Futures sales contracts over quotation period (ounces)22,2330.1-3.2-Average price ($/ounce)$1,585Embedded derivative hedged by future sales contracts (ounces)16,987----Average price ($/tonne)$1,584Net provisional gold exposure (ounces)(5,246)Nickel (a)Futures sales contracts over quotation period (tonnes)8550.3(0.1)-(0.7)Average price ($/tonne)$16,674Embedded derivative hedged by future sales contracts (tonnes)855----Average price ($/tonne)$16,475Net provisional nickel exposure (tonnes)-OtherEmbedded derivative-(1.8)-(2.4)19.8(9.0)5.1(8.4)a) Provisional pricing and derivative contracts A portion of the Company's metal sales is sold on a provisional pricing basis whereby sales are recognized at prevailing metal prices when title transfers to the customer and final pricing is not determined until a subsequent date, typically two months later. The difference between final price and provisional invoice price is recognized in net earnings. In order to mitigate the impact of these adjustments on net earnings, the Company enters into derivative contracts to directly offset the pricing exposure on the provisionally priced contracts. The provisional pricing gains or losses and offsetting derivative gains or losses are both recognized as a component of cost of sales. Derivative assets are presented in other assets and derivative liabilities are presented in other liabilities with the exception of copper, gold and nickel embedded derivatives which are included within accounts receivable. As at June 30, 2012, substantially all of the Company's metal sales contracts subject to pricing adjustments were hedged by offsetting derivative contracts.EQUITY At the date of this report, the Company has 476,310,282 shares outstanding. There were no changes in common shares outstanding during Q2 2012.OTHER ITEMSZambian taxation The Government of the Republic of Zambia ("GRZ") announced in January 2008 a number of proposed changes to the tax regime in the country in relation to mining companies. The Company, through its Zambian subsidiaries, is party to Development Agreements with the GRZ for its existing operations which provide an express right to full and fair compensation for any loss, damages or costs (including interest) incurred by the Company by reason of the government's failure to comply with the tax stability guarantees set out in the Development Agreements and rights of international arbitration in the event of any dispute. The Company's Zambian subsidiaries have complied with the GRZ's new tax regime without prejudice to its rights under the Development Agreement. Following the change of government in 2011, the first Budget of the new government introduced a further increase in the mineral royalty tax from 3% to 6%, effective April 2012, in breach of the Development Agreements. Until resolved differently with the GRZ, the Company is recognizing and paying taxes in excess of the Development Agreement, resulting in an effective tax rate of approximately 43% at Kansanshi.On Behalf of the Board of Directors of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. G. Clive Newall, President12g3-2b-82-4461 Listed in Standard and Poor's For further information visit our web site at www.first-quantum.com.Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements and information herein, including all statements that are not historical facts, contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These forward-looking statements are principally included in the Development activities section and are also disclosed in other sections of the document. The forward looking statements include estimates, forecasts and statements as to the Company's expectations of production and sales volumes, expected timing of completion of project development at Kansanshi, Kevitsa and Sentinel, the impact of ore grades on future production, the potential of production disruptions, capital expenditure and mine production costs, the outcome of mine permitting, the outcome of legal proceedings which involve the Company in the RDC and other countries, information with respect to the future price of copper, gold, cobalt, nickel, PGE, and sulphuric acid, estimated mineral reserves and mineral resources, our exploration and development program, estimated future expenses, exploration and development capital requirements, the Company's hedging policy, and our goals and strategies. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements or information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate" or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. With respect to forward-looking statements and information contained herein, we have made numerous assumptions including among other things, assumptions about the price of copper, gold, nickel, PGE, cobalt and sulphuric acid, anticipated costs and expenditures and our ability to achieve our goals. Although our management believes that the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that a forward-looking statement or information herein will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. These factors include, but are not limited to, future production volumes and costs, costs for inputs such as oil, power and sulphur, political stability in Zambia, Peru, Mauritania, Finland and Australia, adverse weather conditions in Zambia, Finland and Mauritania, labour disruptions, mechanical failures, water supply, procurement and delivery of parts and supplies to the operations, the production of off-spec material. See our Annual Information Form for additional information on risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to the forward-looking statements and information. Although we have attempted to identify factors that would cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those disclosed in the forward-looking statements or information, there may be other factors that cause actual results, performances, achievements or events not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. Also, many of these factors are beyond our control. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. We undertake no obligation to reissue or update forward-looking statements or information as a result of new information or events after the date hereof except as may be required by law. All forward-looking statements and information made herein are qualified by this cautionary statement.First Quantum Minerals Ltd.Consolidated Statements of EarningsUnaudited(expressed in millions of U.S. dollars, except where indicated and share and per share amounts)Three months ended June 30Six months ended June 30Note2012201120122011Sales revenues9722.3660.01,451.01,365.2Cost of sales10(447.6)(296.8)(906.0)(562.5)Gross profit274.7363.2545.0802.7Exploration(17.1)(15.4)(30.0)(34.8)General and administrative(15.7)(14.5)(33.1)(33.2)Settlement of RDC claims and sale of assets11--1,217.9-Other income (expense)1.4(10.6)1.7(7.0)Operating profit243.3322.71,701.5727.7Finance income9.31.710.73.5Finance costs12(2.4)(1.3)(4.6)(6.6)Earnings before income taxes250.2323.11,707.6724.6Income taxes(81.2)(135.8)(177.6)(284.1)Net earnings for the period169.0187.31,530.0440.5Net earnings for the period attributable to:Non-controlling interests27.032.051.178.5Shareholders of the Company142.0155.31,478.9362.0Earnings per common shareBasic8b0.300.363.120.84Diluted8b0.300.333.100.76Weighted average shares outstanding (000's)Basic8b474,035428,786474,035428,772Diluted8b476,310475,243476,310475,229Total shares issued and outstanding (000's)8a476,310430,895476,310430,895The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements. For a copy of the notes visit the Company's website at www.first-quantum.com. First Quantum Minerals Ltd.Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive IncomeUnaudited(expressed in millions of U.S. dollars)Three months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Net earnings for the period169.0187.31,530.0440.5Other comprehensive income (loss)Unrealized loss on available-for-sale investments(3.4)(0.8)(5.4)(0.3)Tax on unrealized loss on available-for-sale investments0.70.31.10.1Comprehensive income for the period166.3186.81,525.7440.3Total comprehensive income for the period attributable to:Non-controlling interests27.032.051.178.5Shareholders of the Company139.3154.81,474.6361.8166.3186.81,525.7440.3The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements. For a copy of the notes visit the Company's website at www.first-quantum.com.First Quantum Minerals Ltd.Consolidated Statements of Cash FlowsUnaudited(expressed in millions of U.S. dollars)Three months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Cash flows from operating activitiesNet earnings for the period169.0187.31,530.0440.5Items not affecting cashDepletion and amortization33.124.173.844.7Unrealized foreign exchange (income) loss(0.9)0.70.82.9Deferred income tax24.45.210.7(19.8)Share-based compensation expense1.91.95.03.9Net finance costs(6.9)1.3(6.1)6.6Settlement of RDC claims and sale of assets--(1,217.9)-Other(0.7)3.20.55.6219.9223.7396.8484.4Change in non-cash operating working capital(Increase) decrease in trade, other receivables and derivatives13.5(8.3)(24.5)65.6Increase in inventories(5.1)(71.3)(59.1)(125.1)Increase (decrease) in trade and other payables43.3(125.6)81.4(130.3)Increase (decrease) in current taxes payable(38.7)(73.5)(23.2)25.1232.9(55.0)371.4319.7Cash flows from financing activitiesProceeds from debt-5.1--Repayments of debt(6.0)-(22.7)(82.3)Proceeds on issuance of common shares---0.2Restricted cash-(20.2)-20.1Dividends paid(61.4)(53.5)(61.4)(53.5)Dividends paid to non-controlling interests(15.8)(7.5)(15.8)(7.5)Finance lease payments(1.0)(0.9)(1.9)(1.9)Interest paid(0.3)(16.6)(0.4)(16.9)(84.5)(93.6)(102.2)(141.8)Cash flows from investing activitiesPurchase of property, plant and equipment(287.6)(244.1)(530.5)(433.4)Deposits on property, plant and equipment(23.0)-(57.0)-Acquisition of investment(9.5)-(16.0)-Interest received1.8-2.4-Proceeds from settlement of RDC claims and sale of assets-5.6736.59.8(318.3)(238.5)135.4(423.5)Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents(169.9)(387.1)404.6(245.6)Cash and cash equivalents - beginning of period1,026.61,486.4452.11,344.9Cash and cash equivalents - end of period856.71,099.3856.71,099.3The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements. For a copy of the notes visit the Company's website at www.first-quantum.com.First Quantum Minerals Ltd.Consolidated Balance SheetsUnaudited(expressed in millions of U.S. dollars)NoteJune 30, 2012December 31, 2011AssetsCurrent assetsCash and cash equivalents856.7452.1Trade and other receivables243.7238.1Inventories3709.8649.9Current portion of other assets552.234.01,862.41,374.1Investments28.218.0Property, plant and equipment44,220.93,824.4Promissory note receivable11477.7-Other assets5153.581.5Total assets6,742.75,298.0LiabilitiesCurrent liabilitiesTrade and other payables292.8273.4Current taxes payable266.2289.4Current portion of debt625.248.1Current portion of provisions and other liabilities12.311.0596.5621.9Debt614.514.8Provisions and other liabilities284.2286.4Deferred income tax liabilities225.4206.4Total liabilities1,120.61,129.5EquityShare capital1,955.61,950.6Retained earnings3,141.31,723.8Accumulated other comprehensive income(3.1)1.2Total equity attributable to shareholders of the Company5,093.83,675.6Non-controlling interests528.3492.9Total equity5,622.14,168.5Total liabilities and equity6,742.75,298.0Commitments15The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements. For a copy of the notes visit the Company's website at www.first-quantum.com.First Quantum Minerals Ltd.Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders' EquityUnaudited(expressed in millions of U.S. dollars)Three months ended June 30Six months ended June 302012201120122011Share capitalCommon sharesBalance - beginning of period2,003.81,479.52,003.81,479.3Shares issued and share options exercised---0.2Balance - end of period2,003.81,479.52,003.81,479.5Equity portion of convertible bondsBalance - beginning and end of period-48.3-48.3Treasury sharesBalance - beginning of period(67.8)(56.9)(68.0)(57.1)Restricted and performance stock units vested0.20.10.40.3Balance - end of period(67.6)(56.8)(67.6)(56.8)Contributed surplusBalance - beginning of period17.717.714.815.9Share-based compensation expense for the period1.91.95.03.9Transfers upon exercise of share options----Restricted and performance stock units vested(0.2)(0.1)(0.4)(0.3)Balance - end of period19.419.519.419.5Total share capital1,955.61,490.51,955.61,490.5Retained earningsBalance - beginning of period2,999.31,445.31,723.81,292.1Earnings for the period attributable to shareholders of the Company142.0155.31,478.9362.0Dividends--(61.4)(53.5)Balance - end of period3,141.31,600.63,141.31,600.6Accumulated other comprehensive incomeBalance - beginning of period(0.4)1.31.21.0Other comprehensive loss for the period(2.7)(0.5)(4.3)(0.2)Balance - end of period(3.1)0.8(3.1)0.8Non-controlling interestsBalance - beginning of period517.1416.8492.9377.8Earnings attributable to non-controlling interests27.032.051.178.5Disposal of subsidiaries--0.1(7.5)Dividends(15.8)-(15.8)-Balance - end of period528.3448.8528.3448.8The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements. For a copy of the notes visit the Company's website at www.first-quantum.com.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Sharon LoungFirst Quantum Minerals Ltd. - North American contactDirector, Investor Relations(647) 346-3934 or Toll Free: 1 (888) 688-6577(604) 688-3818 (FAX)sharon.loung@fqml.comORClive NewallFirst Quantum Minerals Ltd. - United Kingdom contactPresident+44 140 327 3484+44 140 327 3494 (FAX)clive.newall@fqml.comwww.first-quantum.com