Taseko Mines, having just completed a $400 million bond refinancing and fundraising program, is moving forward with developing a commercial operation at its Florence in-situ recovery (ISR) copper project in Arizona, USA.
Capital requirements for the commercial production facility at Florence, which followed an ISR pilot project, are estimated at $230 million.
Pending final regulatory approvals and financing, Taseko has previously stated it could start construction of the commercial operation this year, with first production in late 2022.
Stuart McDonald, President of Taseko, said: “With the majority of the required funding for our Florence Copper project now in hand, we are moving forward with final design engineering of the commercial production facility as well as procurement of certain critical components.”
McDonald said the company is continuing to advance discussions with potential joint venture partners at Florence, but its strong cash balance and improved Gibraltar mine cash flows from copper prices currently over $3.70/Ib ($8,159/t) means it has “numerous options available” to obtain the remaining funding.
Russell Hallbauer, CEO of Taseko, added on Florence: “Florence is one of the least capital-intensive copper production facilities in the world and, when fully ramped up, will produce 40,000 t of high-quality cathode copper annually for the US domestic market.
“It is a green project, with carbon emissions and water and energy consumption all dramatically lower than a conventional mine, and, with C1 operating costs of $0.90/Ib of copper, it will also be in the lowest quartile of the global cost curve.”