Canadian Mining Journal


COPPER: Taseko’s Florence mine reaches commercial grade leach solution

The first copper cathode was harvested at the Florence Copper project on April 24, 2019. (Image: Taseko Mines)

ARIZONA – Taseko Mines of Vancouver says after running the test facility for only six months, the leach solution from its Florence in situ copper mine has reached commercial grade – 1,600 ppm of copper in solution. The project is about midway between Phoenix and Tucson.

Taseko CEO Russ Hallbauer said, “Based on previous bench scale testing, we expected it would take upwards of a year to reach target solution grade, so we are obviously extremely pleased to have achieved this milestone after such a short period of time.”

The company has taken a two-step approach to the Florence mine. First, it ran the test facility to gain experience among its employees. With that knowledge the commercial facility will be built and the scale up to final operating parameters should be smooth.

Taseko is now focused on three initiatives – technical, permitting and financing. The goal is to have the project shovel ready in the first half of 2020 followed by commercial production in 2021. The company recently filed an amended aquifer protection permit with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. The other critical permit is the underground injection control permit, and application will be made to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the coming weeks.

The 43-101 technical report on Florence Copper is available at