21/07/2008 - 10:04

Equinox fire delays project to December

21/07/2008 - 10:04

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West Perth-based Equinox Minerals Ltd expects installation and testing of new equipment at its Lumwana copper project Zambia to start in December following a fire at the project's power station a fortnight ago.

West Perth-based Equinox Minerals Ltd expects installation and testing of new equipment at its Lumwana copper project Zambia to start in December following a fire at the project's power station a fortnight ago.

The fire caused damage to a 20 MVA transformer and adjacent 11kV substation, which was part of the process plant facility currently being commissioned by contractor Ausenco.

Ausenco has previously agreed to front up $8 million in additional costs following the blaze.

Equinox had expected to commence production in the second quarter of this year.

Below is the full announcement:

Equinox Minerals Limited (TSX and ASX symbol: "EQN") ("Equinox" or the "Company") reported on July 7 2008 that a fire had caused damage to a 20MVA transformer and adjacent 11kV substation. This equipment forms part of the process plant facility currently being commissioned by the Company's EPC contractor, the Ausenco Bateman Joint Venture ("ABV").

Assessments have been conducted by independent experts, insurance loss adjusters and ABV engineers to identify equipment that will require replacement. Remediation of the damaged area has begun and ordering of requisite replacement items has commenced.

Equinox advises that the recovery schedule and project hand-over from the EPC Contractor based on current lead times for the replacement, installation and testing of the new equipment is now expected to be December 2008.

The Company has vigorously pursued claims under its insurance policies that provide cover for material damage and delay in start-up coverage and has received liquidated damages under the EPC Contract.

Completion work is continuing elsewhere on the project whilst the remediation program is implemented with reticulated power from the Zambian utility, ZESCO remaining unaffected and available.

Mr Craig Williams, Equinox's President and CEO said; "While this is an unfortunate event, our focus remains on delivering a world class asset and facilities to our shareholders and the people of Zambia. Lumwana is a project that will deliver strong returns and provide significant scope for expansion in the near future. We will keep shareholders informed as the Company progresses towards first concentrate production."

 

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