October 7, 2009, Vancouver, BC - Taseko Mines Limited (“Taseko” or the “Company”) (TSX: TKO; NYSE Amex: TGB) reports third quarter 2009 production results for its Gibraltar Mine.
For the third quarter of 2009, the Gibraltar Mine produced 14 million pounds of copper and 112 thousand pounds of molybdenum.
Metal production in the quarter was affected by a geotechnical problem, related to surface soil instability at the edge of the Granite Pit, which occurred in mid-July. As a result, mining operations had to deviate from the mine plan for the balance of the third quarter. Subsequently, ore release could only be achieved from mining faces that were significantly below the Granite Pit average grade. Normally, lower grade ore would be mined in conjunction with higher grade ore to maintain the pit average grade. Additionally, the lower grade ore resulted in decreased metal recoveries that negatively affected production. The combination of lower grade and lower metal recoveries reduced metal production by approximately four million pounds of copper and 100 thousand pounds of molybdenum for the third quarter.
The geotechnical issue has been resolved and Gibraltar mine operations re-established mining faces during August and September allowing a return to mine plan grade in October.
Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko commented, “After four consecutive quarters of strong production performance, this geotechnical issue is an unfortunate setback for the mine. However, the mine operations team effectively managed the deviation from the mine plan and the mine and mill have now returned to normal operating conditions.”
In August, as reported during Taseko’s second quarter results conference call, the decision was made to begin increasing waste stripping towards the deposit average, a full year ahead of the schedule laid out in late 2008. The increase is in anticipation of daily concentrator throughput growing to 55,000 tons per day now that expansion activities are again underway. Copper price strength is allowing the Company to invest in waste stripping while maintaining healthy operating margins.
For further information on Taseko, please see the Company’s website www.tasekomines.com or contact:
Brian Bergot, Investor Relations - 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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