Taseko Mines (ticker: TGB, exchange: American Stock Exchange (.A))
News Release -
Taseko Board Approves Upgrade of Concentrator at the Gibraltar Mine
VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 30,
2006--Taseko Mines Limited (TSX:TKO)(AMEX:TGB) announces that its
Board of Directors has approved a capital expenditure to expand and
upgrade the concentrator facility at the Company's Gibraltar Mine,
located near the City of Williams Lake in south-central British
Columbia. The mine is operated under an agreement between Taseko's
wholly owned subsidiary, Gibraltar Mines Ltd., and Ledcor CMI Ltd.
This upgrade and expansion project will increase the production
capacity of the Gibraltar mine from 70 million pounds to 100 million
pounds of copper per year by 2008.
The approved $62 million dollar expenditure will expand the
concentrator's grinding circuit by incorporating a Semi Autogenous
Grinding (SAG) mill that will improve the efficiency of the present
milling and crushing system. The project also includes a complete
replacement of the flotation recovery system. The expanded milling
capacity and upgraded flotation system will decrease Gibraltar's unit
operating costs by roughly 10% through a combination of increased
throughput and improved recoveries of both copper and molybdenum.
The ore processing capacity of the mill will increase by 25%,
from the current 36,750 tons per day to 46,000 tons per day. As a
result of the increased capacity and the improved recoveries related
to the new flotation system, the annual copper production is expected
to rise by 30% to approximately 100 million pounds per year. The new
SAG mill will, however, be capable of processing up to 50,000 tons of
ore per day, depending on ore characteristics and operating strategy.
Additional engineering analyses of the tailings system and electrical
infrastructure, as well as long-term mine plans, are being undertaken
to determine whether that additional daily throughput can be
President and CEO Russell Hallbauer said: "This expansion is a
major step towards the long-term viability of the Gibraltar mine. The
expansion is being undertaken at less than one-half the cost of the
typical new greenfield construction projects that are under
consideration by other mid-tier mining companies, plus it will
provide a major increase in copper production in a much shorter time
frame compared to greenfield projects. As an added bonus, the project
at Gibraltar can be completed with no interruption of current copper
and molybdenum production."
Funding for the expansion will come from a combination of
internally generated cash flows and commercial capital sources. The
upgrade to the flotation system will begin immediately. Construction
of the grinding circuit will begin in the summer of 2006, with
completion planned for the latter part of 2007.
For further details on Taseko Mines Limited, please contact
Investor Services at (604) 684-6365 or within North America at
Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are
based on current expectations and which involve risks and
uncertainties, including those referred to in Taseko's Annual
Information Form ("AIF") filed with Canadian securities regulatory
authorities, or Taseko's annual Form on 20F ("20F") filed with United
States securities regulatory authorities, that could cause actual
events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated
events or results reflected in the forward-looking statements. Such
forward-looking statements include statements regarding financial
results and expectations for 2006 and include, among other things,
statements regarding targets, estimates and/or assumptions in respect
of copper production and/or copper prices, cash operating costs,
expenditures on property, plant and equipment, increases and
decreases in production, reserves and/or resources and anticipated
grades and recovery rates and are or may be based on assumptions
and/or estimates related to future economic, market and other
conditions. Factors that could cause actual results, developments or
events to differ materially from those anticipated include, among
others, the factors described or referred to elsewhere herein and/or
in the AIF and 20F, and include unanticipated and/or unusual events.
Many of such factors are beyond Taseko's ability to control or
predict. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated.
Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking
statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein. Taseko disclaims
any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
results or otherwise. For further information on the Company,
Investors should review the Company's Canadian public filings at
www.sedar.com or its US public filings at www.sec.gov.
The TSX Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange have not ap
proved or disapproved the contents of this press release.
Taseko Mines Limited (TSX:TKO) (AMEX:TGB)
CONTACT: Taseko Mines Limited
(604) 684-6365 or Toll Free: 1-800-667-2114
Fax: (604) 684-8092