October 14, 2009, Vancouver, BC - Taseko Mine Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE Amex: TGB) (“Taseko” or the “Company”) wishes to provide an update on the Provincial and Federal Governments’ Environmental Assessment review processes of Taseko’s wholly-owned Prosperity Gold-Copper project.
The provincial process, conducted by the Environmental Assessment Office, is nearing the final phase of its work. As of today, 54 days remain in the 180-day legislated review period, meaning that by December 7, 2009 the Environmental Assessment Office will refer the application to the Minister of Environment and Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for a decision. The Ministers will then have 45 days to render their final decision on the project. Barring any unforeseen process delays, we expect a decision by the Government of British Columbia on or before January 20, 2010. A provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate will be an important milestone as it is the provincial government which is responsible for mine development in British Columbia.
The federal process, conducted by a 3-person Panel operating under defined Terms of Reference are required to complete their work in a timely and efficient manner. The dates of the public Panel hearings have not yet been set. The earliest the hearings could commence is mid-January and the Terms of Reference commits the Panel to make best efforts to conclude those public hearings within a 30-day period. Following conclusion of the hearings, the Panel will submit their findings to the Federal Minister of Environment for a decision.
Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko commented, “The Environmental Assessment process is a time-consuming and expensive undertaking and one that has taken governments longer to advance than anticipated. Great care is being exercised to ensure delivery of a completely thorough examination, one which is fully transparent.
Receiving provincial approvals will allow certain aspects of the mine development to move forward while the federal process continues.”
Mr. Hallbauer continued, “Once the panel delivers its report to the federal government we anticipate that the applicable ministries will work diligently towards an expeditious delivery of the project through the remaining regulatory process. As a company, we are very confident in the work presented in our Environmental Assessment Report and fully expect a favourable outcome from both governments.”
The Prosperity Project, located in south-central British Columbia, is one of the largest undeveloped gold-copper deposits in Canada with 1.0 billion tonnes of measured and indicated resources containing 13.3 million ounces of gold and 5.3 billion pounds of copper. Average annual production over the 20-year mine life is estimated to be 247,000 ounces of gold and 108 million pounds of copper1.
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.
Back to the News Releases page