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Multi-continent: Independent review of the Falconbridge Ltd. worldwide exploration portfolio

In connection with the acquisition of Falconbridge Ltd., the integration planning team of Xstrata plc commissioned SRK in July 2006 to provide technical guidance for the evaluation of Falconbridge’s exploration assets.

SRK’s assignment was to complete a desktop review of Falconbridge’s greenfield exploration assets with a view towards summarising the characteristics of the portfolio, providing an independent assessment of their realisable value and commenting on the capabilities of the exploration team.

The challenge of this unique assignment was to mobilise an experienced and credible team capable of reviewing a worldwide portfolio containing early- to development-stage exploration assets and prepare a timely technical overview.

SRK’s unique worldwide presence was instrumental in mobilising five teams to visit six regional exploration offices in five countries on three continents. Within six weeks, a team of 14 SRK geologists had reviewed over 60 active exploration projects in 14 countries to assess their merit, rank the portfolio on the basis of qualitative metrics -- essentially the perceived potential of yielding a positive discovery – and provide a “fair market value” opinion, based on a market approach and comparative transaction analysis.

Although subjective and based on a very limited review, the ranking utilised by SRK provided a first-order independent overview of the portfolio which was suitable to guide Xstrata in realising the value of the Falconbridge exploration assets. Critical to this assignment was SRK’s capacity to mobilise quickly a credible review team and deliver a timely technical review. This was completed in November 2006.

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