Taseko Mines (TSX:TKO; NYSE: TGB) says it has received the final permit for its greenfield, in situ recovery (ISR) Florence copper project south of Phoenix, Arizona. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed there have been no appeals to issuing the final underground injection control (UIC) permit.
"Successful completion of the UIC permitting process is a result of Taseko's long-term development approach, and the quality and environmental integrity of the project,” said president and CEO Stuart McDonald. “Taseko is now in a unique position, with one of the very few fully permitted mining projects in North America. With the final permit in hand, we have a clear line of vision to commercial production and are that much closer to realizing the full value of Florence copper."
The project will be extremely energy and water efficient and have the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity per pound of any U.S. producer thanks to ISR. When fully operational, it will have an annual capacity of 85 million lb. of LME Grade A copper annually and a mine life of 22 years.
Taseko granted a 2.7% streaming agreement to Mitsui, who paid US$50 million towards construction of the commercial production facility. Mitsui has also signed an offtake contract for 81% of the copper cathode produced during the early years of operation. Mitsui also holds an option to invest another US$50 million for a 10% equity interest in Florence.
Florence has total proven and probable reserves of 290.2 million tonnes gradin 0.36% copper. The reserves are contained within the measured and indicated resources of 329.2 million tonnes grading 0.35% copper. An inferred resource of 38.1 million tonnes at 0.32% copper has also been outlined.
Taseko also produces copper from the Gibraltar mine in B.C. Visit www.TasekoMines.com.