Taseko raises $200m to fund Florence copper project

Florence copper project. (Image courtesy of Taseko Mines)

Taseko Mines (TSX, LSE: TKO; NYSE: TGB) announced Wednesday that it has completed its offering of $400 million aggregate principal amount of 7.0% senior secured notes due in 2026.

A portion of the proceeds will be used to redeem the outstanding $250 million 8.75% notes due 2022. The remaining $131 million is available for capital expenditures, working capital and general corporate purposes, Taseko said.

“This bond refinancing and upsize has significantly strengthened Taseko’s financial position and lowered our cost of capital,”
Stuart McDonald, Taseko president, said in a press release.

McDonald said Taseko now has about $200 million in cash and no significant debt maturities until 2026.

With the majority of the required funding for its Florence Copper project now in hand, Taseko said it is moving forward with final design engineering of the commercial productions, it said.

Taseko is moving forward with final design engineering of the commercial productions

“Capital requirements for the commercial production facility are estimated at $230 million,” said McDonald. “We continue to advance discussions with potential joint venture partners, but with our strong cash balance and improved Gibraltar cash flows from copper prices that are currently over $3.70 per pound, we have numerous options available to obtain the remaining funding.”

According to Taseko, Florence is one of the least capital intensive copper production facilities in the world and when fully ramped up will produce 40,000 tonnes of high-quality cathode copper annually for the US domestic market.

Taseko said it is a ‘green project’, with carbon emissions and water and energy consumption all dramatically lower than a conventional mine, and that with C1 operating costs of $0.90 per pound of copper, it will be in the lowest quartile of the global cost curve.