Company Updates

Florence Copper will be one of the world’s most efficient copper producers

August 22, 2022

Taseko’s Florence Copper Project in central Arizona is expected to be the next producing copper mine in the United States, utilizing a unique ‘in-situ copper recovery’ (ISCR) technology to produce pure copper cathode on-site.

Environmental Advantages of In-situ Copper Recovery (ISCR)

Florence Copper is not a typical mining operation. There is no blasting or excavation equipment, no open-pits, underground tunnels or large haul trucks, no smelters, and very little land disturbance. Once operational, it will be one of the world’s greenest copper producers – with water, energy and carbon intensity forecast to be 93%, 71% and 83% lower (respectively) than conventional mines per unit of production.

In-situ Copper Recovery ISCR is a low impact mining method that uses a water-based acidic solution to dissolve copper minerals and extract them from deep underground without significant surface disturbance. The solution (>99.5% water/<0.5% acid), similar in pH to household vinegar, is injected into a soluble copper oxide deposit 400 feet to 1,200 feet below ground. The solution dissolves the copper minerals and the resulting copper-rich solution is pumped to surface where it is manufactured into pure copper sheets in an on-site SX/EW plant. The ISCR mining method is possible because of the unique characteristics of the Florence copper deposit. ISCR requires both specific hydrogeological conditions that happen to occur at Florence, as well as a naturally porous and shattered orebody, which allows the solution to easily flow through it without the use of pressure.

Highly Coveted Product

Florence Copper will produce a highly coveted product – ‘made in the USA’ refined copper. It will not be blended with other products at a smelter, so the refined copper will be traceable directly to the Florence site, which will also have one of the lowest GHG and energy profiles in the world.

Next Steps

Taseko successfully operated an 18-month Production Test Facility (PTF) at the Florence Copper Project beginning in 2019. The next step is commercial operation. Florence Copper has received a final operating permit from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), in addition to the Draft Underground Injection Control (UCI) Permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Draft UCI is currently in the Public Comment period, which is scheduled to be completed on September 29.

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