In December 2018, Taseko announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Yellowhead Mining Inc. that it did not already own for $13 million, payable in Taseko common shares.
In January 2020, the Company filed a new technical report with a mineral reserve update, which announced improved economics, compared to the 2014 Feasibility Study, and a new 817 million tonne reserve estimate for the Project.
The project development plan now includes a 90,000 tonne per day concentrator, with an average annual copper production of 200 million pounds for the first five years after start up, plus significant gold and silver by-products. Total pre-production capital costs for the project is roughly C$1.3 billion and an average operating cost of US$1.67 per pound of copper.
With a pre-tax net present value of approximately C$1.3 billion (using US$3.10 per pound copper, a foreign exchange rate of US$0.80:C$1.00, and an 8% discount rate), the project represents a significant element in Taseko's long-term growth strategy.
With the new Technical Report complete, Taseko’s efforts will focus on environmental assessment work, ongoing engagement with local communities, additional engineering as well as evaluating the merits of selling an interest in the project to a joint venture partner.
Some differences from the original 2014 Feasibilty Study to the new Technical Report include:
- a 100 million tonne increase to reserves
- an increase in the copper cut-off grade to 0.17%
- throughput increase to 90,000 tonnes per day
- relocated primary crusher to a 90 meter lower elevation
- and an improved water management plan which reduces stored water by 90%
Yellowhead Project Highlights:
|Average Copper Grade||0.32%||0.28%|
|Average Copper Equivalent Grade||0.35% CuEq||0.29% CuEq|
|Average Annual Copper Production||200 million lbs||180 million lbs|
|Average Annual Pre-tax Cashflow||C$330 million||C$270 million|
|Average cost per pound copper*||US$1.43/lb||US$1.67/lb|
- Pre-tax net present value of C$1.3 billion at an 8% discount rate
- Pre-tax internal rate of return of 18% with a 4.2 year payback
- 817 million tonne Proven and Probable Mineral Reserve grading 0.29% copper equivalent
- Cost per tonne milled of C$9.97 (mining, milling & site G&A)
- 25-year mine life
- Total life of mine production in excess of 4.4 billion pounds of copper, 440,000 ounces of gold and 19 million ounces of silver
- Total pre-production capital cost of C$1.3 billion
- Long-term copper price of US$3.10 per pound and foreign exchange rate of US$0.80:C$1.00
The Technical Report, completed in 2020 by Taseko can be found below: