Taseko gets permit and board approval for construction of Florence copper test facility

Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE American: TGB) ("Taseko" or the "Company") announces that the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an order denying any further review of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit granted in 2016 for Taseko's Florence Copper Project. In the September 22, 2017 decision, the EAB found that the petitioners failed to demonstrate any errors were made in issuing the federal permit.

Coinciding with this permitting decision, Taseko's Board of Directors has given management approval to move forward with the construction of a Production Test Facility (PTF). Estimated remaining costs to construct the PTF are US$25 million.

"We are very pleased with the Environmental Appeals Board decision, which is another significant milestone for our Florence Copper Project. We now have all necessary state and federal permits in place to build and operate the PTF," commented Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko.

"Our Board of Directors, after a thorough review of current market conditions, the Company's financial position and the status of permitting in Arizona, have endorsed management's view that the best course of action is to accelerate the construction of the PTF," continued Mr. Hallbauer. "Over the past year, Florence personnel have been advancing on-the-ground activities and have spent roughly US$4 million specific to the PTF.  With major components already on site, the timeline to having the test facility operational is in the latter half of 2018 and involves the construction of an SX/EW facility and the drilling of observation, injection and recovery wells."

"At US$4,700 per ton of installed capacity, Florence Copper is one of the lowest capital intensity copper projects in the world. The economics of the Project are too compelling for us to not be rapidly advancing the project towards commercial production, especially as a significant global copper deficit approaches.  Successful operation of the PTF will be a major step towards realizing the US$920 million net present value of the project. As we continue to move towards commercial production, we fully expect this value to be reflected in our share price," concluded Mr. Hallbauer.

In January of this year, the results from two additional years of engineering work and technical studies were announced, which enhanced project economics even further than the original feasibility study.

Project Highlights:

  • Pre-tax net present value of US$920 million at a 7.5% discount rate
  • Pre-tax internal rate of return of 44% with a 2.3 year payback
  • Long-term copper price of US$3.00 per pound
  • Operating costs of US$1.10 per pound LME grade cathode copper
  • Average annual production of 81 million pounds of copper
  • 21 year operational life
  • Total production in excess of 1.7 billion pounds of copper
  • Total pre-production capital cost of US$200 million

The content of this release was reviewed and approved by Dan Johnson PE, Vice-President/General Manager for Florence Copper, Inc., and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.

The NI 43-101 technical report documenting these results is available on www.sedar.com or the company's website at www.tasekomines.com.

Russell Hallbauer
President and CEO