December 11, 2008 - Vancouver, BC - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX:TKO; AMEX:TGB) (“Taseko” or the “Company”) announces a 28% increase in mineral reserves at its 100% owned Gibraltar Mine.
Taseko’s recently completed drill program and engineering study on the newly acquired Oakmont ground which has confirmed an extension of the Gibraltar mineral deposit (Gibraltar Extension) and as a result Gibraltar’s ore reserves have been increased by approximately 105 million tons or 28% to 472 million tons.
This increase in reserves will add roughly 640 million pounds of recoverable copper to Gibraltar’s reserve base of 2.1 billion pounds bringing that total to 2.7 billion pounds of copper, and under present operations extends Gibraltar’s mine life to 2035.
Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko commented, “In the world in which we find ourselves today with respect to mineral resource development it cannot be overstated how important large mineral reserves in secure political jurisdictions such as British Columbia are for a company.
With conservative long term metal price projections, our Gibraltar Mine will be operational for nearly three more decades, providing returns to our shareholders, as well as significant economic benefits to our employees and the local communities.
In the near term as a result of metal production increases, low cost hydro electric power, a low and declining tax regime, significantly reduced input costs combined with the Canadian/US dollar exchange rate, Gibraltar’s cost profile will be significantly lower than that experienced over the past 18 months.
With our newly optimized mining plans, our access to efficient rail and port facilities combined with a skilled and motivated workforce, complemented by supportive mining focused government policies we anticipate Gibraltar remaining operational during this period of financial turmoil and weakened copper prices.
This continued increase in our ore reserves supports the business plan we embarked on 24 months ago, whereby we would transform Gibraltar from a high cost swing producer to one that could continue to operate over the long term at varying copper prices.”
Gibraltar’s proven and probable reserves as of December 31, 2008 are tabulated below:
Gibraltar Mine Mineral Reserves
As at December 31, 20081
At 0.20% copper cut-off
The mineral reserves stated above are contained within the following mineral resources:
Gibraltar Mine Mineral Resources
As at December 31, 2008
At 0.20% copper cut-off
The mineral resource and reserve estimations were completed by Gibraltar mine staff under the supervision of Scott Jones, P.Eng., Vice-President, Engineering and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101. Mr Jones has verified the methods used to determine grade and tonnage in the geological model, reviewed the long range mine plan, and directed the updated economic evaluation. The estimates for the Gibraltar Extension used long term metal prices of US$1.75/lb for copper and US$10.00/lb for molybdenum and a foreign exchange of C$0.82 per US dollar while the estimates for the balance of the reserves used long term metal prices of US$1.50/lb for copper and US$10.00/lb for molybdenum and a foreign exchange of C$0.80 per US dollar. Mr Jones has reviewed this release. A technical report will be filed on www.sedar.com.
Vice President Corporate Affairs
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President and CEO
No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved of the information contained in this news release.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This document contains “forward-looking statements” that were based on Taseko’s expectations, estimates and projections as of the dates as of which those statements were made. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “outlook”, “anticipate”, “project”, “target”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “should” and similar expressions.
Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These included but are not limited to:
uncertainties and costs related to the Company’s exploration and development activities, such as those associated with continuity of mineralization or determining whether mineral resources or reserves exist on a property;
uncertainties related to the accuracy of our estimates of mineral reserves, mineral resources, production rates and timing of production, future production and future cash and total costs of production and milling;
uncertainties related to feasibility studies that provide estimates of expected or anticipated costs, expenditures and economic returns from a mining project;
uncertainties related to our ability to complete the mill upgrade on time estimated and at the scheduled cost;
uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary licenses permits for development projects and project delays due to third party opposition;
uncertainties related to unexpected or ongoing judicial or regulatory proceedings;
changes in, and the effects of, the laws, regulations and government policies affecting our exploration and development activities and mining operations, particularly laws, regulations and policies;
changes in general economic conditions, the financial markets and in the demand and market price for copper, gold and other minerals and commodities, such as diesel fuel, steel, concrete, electricity and other forms of energy, mining equipment, and fluctuations in exchange rates, particularly with respect to the value of the U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar, and the continued availability of capital and financing;
the effects of forward selling instruments to protect against fluctuations in copper prices and exchange rate movements and the risks of counterparty defaults, and mark to market risk;
the risk of inadequate insurance or inability to obtain insurance to cover mining risks;
the risk of loss of key employees; the risk of changes in accounting policies and methods we use to report our financial condition, including uncertainties associated with critical accounting assumptions and estimates;
environmental issues and liabilities associated with mining including processing and stock piling ore; and
labour strikes, work stoppages, or other interruptions to, or difficulties in, the employment of labour in markets in which we operate mines, or environmental hazards, industrial accidents or other events or occurrences, including third party interference that interrupt the production of minerals in our mines.
For further information on Taseko, investors should review the Company’s annual Form 40-F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission www.sec.gov and home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.