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Taseko announces improved economics for its Florence Copper Project

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Taseko Mines has announced the results of recent technical work and updated economics for its 100%-owned Florence Copper Project, located in Arizona, USA. The Company has filed a new technical report entitled “NI 43-101 Technical Report – Florence Copper Project, Pinal County, Arizona” dated March 30, 2023 on SEDAR. The technical report was prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 and incorporates updated capital and operating costs for the commercial production facility and refinements made to the operating models, based on the Production Test Facility (PTF) results.

The technical work completed by Taseko in recent years has been extensive and has de-risked the project significantly. The PTF operated successfully over an 18-month period and provided a valuable opportunity to test operational controls and strategies which will be applied in future commercial operations. In addition, a more sophisticated leaching model has been developed and calibrated to the PTF wellfield performance. This detailed modelling data, along with updated costing, has been used to update assumptions for the ramp up and operation of the commercial wellfield and processing facility.

Project Highlights:

  • Net present value of US$930 million (after-tax, at an 8% discount rate).
  • Internal rate of return of 47% (after-tax).
  • Payback period of 2.6 years.
  • Operating costs (C1) of US$1.11 per lb of copper.
  • Annual production capacity of 85 million lb of LME grade “A” cathode copper. • 22-year mine life.
  • Total life of mine production of 1.5 billion lb of copper.
  • Total estimated initial capital cost of US$232 million remaining.
  • Long-term copper price of US$3.75 per lb.

Stuart McDonald, President & CEO of Taseko, stated, “Despite global cost inflation in recent years, the Florence Copper Project continues to demonstrate robust economics and remains one of the lowest capital intensity copper development projects in the world. The operational experience and technical information that we gained through the PTF testwork has been invaluable and we’re well positioned to build and operate the commercial-scale ISCR facility. The new Technical Report includes updated capital cost estimates based on detailed engineering and recent contractor and vendor quotations. The main cost increases relate to construction labour and wellfield drilling costs which impact both initial and sustaining capital costs. The inflationary environment we have been in has also driven copper prices higher. With a lack of new mines being developed today and copper’s critical role in the global energy transition, the long-term price outlook remains very attractive for copper producers. The low-carbon, low impact production method at Florence Copper is expected to make it a preferred supplier of green, low carbon copper in the US domestic market. With procurement of long-lead items well advanced, we are ready to commence construction of the commercial facility following the issuance of the final UIC permit in the coming months.”

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