Taseko Mines has signed a deal with an indigenous nation, summarizing the company’s goals to launch the regulatory approval process for its Yellowhead copper project.
The project includes a 90,000mt per-day open pit copper mine, located about 150km northeast of Kamloops, near Vevenby in the Thompson‐Nicola area of British Columbia. The open pit mine has a 25-year operation’s life and has the potential to be among the largest in North America.
The Canadian miner recently finalized a new development plan and updated study for the project that added 100mn mt to reserves and enhanced its economic aspects. The plan also measured pre-production capital costs to operate, through the life of the mine at C$1.3bn ($943mn). Yellowhead now contains reserves of 817mn mt of grading 0.29pc copper equivalent.
Taseko also owns the operational Gibraltar mine and is expanding the Florence copper project in Arizona. The company acquired Yellowhead in 2014 in an all-stock deal valued at C$13mn.
Currently, most of Taseko’s mining business strategies include efforts to obtain and sustain community support for projects and operations. The model described as a social license to operate (SOL) addresses consumer concerns regarding social responsibility, ethics and emissions.
The Vancouver-based metals producer said the agreement denotes its commitment to identify and respect the local inhabitants’ fundamental right to govern their domain. It also emphasizes the value of balancing the project to conform with the community’s principles, regulations and goals so that mindful choices are made during the project.
($1 = C$1.38)