November 13, 2008, Vancouver, BC - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; AMEX: TGB) (“Taseko” or the “Company”) announced today that approximately 75 employees will be laid off at its 100% owned Gibraltar Mine McLeese Lake operations.
Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko stated, “In the past 24 months we have invested $250 million into the Gibraltar Mine to reduce operating costs and ensure it could operate at very low copper price levels.
Our manpower levels during the construction period increased as we worked on the concentrator modernization and mine expansion programs. With the concentrator and mining fleet now upgraded and more efficient than in the past, the size of the work force is inconsistent with our new operating efficiencies.
We continue to monitor and adjust our manpower requirements and aggressively manage our overall cost structure to ensure Gibraltar remains profitable during metal market price fluctuations.
This manpower adjustment will not affect Gibraltar’s annual copper production.
We would like to thank our employees, the Provincial Government and the Ministry of Energy Mines & Petroleum Resources for working with us in helping Taseko get Gibraltar into a position to weather declining metal markets. As well, the support of the Mayor of Williams Lake, Scott Nelson, has been invaluable in successfully communicating the importance of an operating mine to central British Columbia and, in particular to the City of Williams Lake.
As a Company we have taken a very conservative approach to our expansion plans by not incurring any long term debt. Our aim is to keep Gibraltar profitable and a viable operation should copper cycle back to lower than US$1.50/lb. We look forward to working with the Government and all the communities of the Cariboo-Chilcotin in the coming months as we enhance the competitive position of our Gibraltar Mine and move forward with the Environmental Assessment Review of Prosperity and receive an Environmental Assessment Certificate and ultimately build another long life mine in the central interior to complement Gibraltar.”
Brian Battison, Vice President Corporate Affairs - Main: 778-373-4543, toll free 1-800-667-2114
Brian Bergot, Investor Relations - Main: 778-373-4545, toll free 1-800-667-2114
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.
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