Taseko mulls minority sale in Florence project
Mining News Pro - While discussions with potential lenders and finance providers for the development of the Florence copper project remain ongoing, Canadian base metals miner Taseko is also exploring the sale of a minority interest in the project to help develop the commercial operation.

The company, which on Monday announced its third-quarter results, said that discussions with interested parties were “advanced” and that a sale could fund a “significant” portion of the capital required for the project.

With an initial capital expenditure of $227-million, the Florence Copper commercial facility will produce an average of 85-million pounds a year of copper at a cost of $1.13/lb over its 20-year life-of-mine.

Taseko stated that it aimed to have a committed financing package in place before the receipt of its final permits. The company still requires one key permit to advance to production and expects to have it in hand by early 2021.

Meanwhile, Taseko reported that it had reverted to normal mining rates at its Gibraltar mine, in British Columbia, on the back of the swift recovery in copper prices.

Copper production in the third quarter was 28.9-million pounds. Copper grades in the final benches of the Granite pit were lower than expected and the miner reported that mining in the Granite pit was completed in early October.

Gibraltar pit mining would start in the first part of 2021 with ore release occurring in the second half of the year. Ore from the Gibraltar pit was expected to require less energy to grind which would provide substantial productivity and cost improvements when processed.

Gibraltar would produce about 130-million pounds this year.

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