Taseko Announces Second Quarter Financial Results

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 11 /CNW/ - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE Amex:  
TGB) ("Taseko" or the "Company") reports the results for the three and six
months ended June 30, 2009. This release should be read with the Company's
Financial Statements and Management Discussion & Analysis, available at
www.tasekomines.com and filed on www.sedar.com. Currency is Canadian dollars
unless otherwise indicated.
    For the quarter ended June 30, 2009, the Company reports an operating
profit of $16.7 million and net earnings of $11.4 million or $0.07 per share
($0.06 per share fully diluted). This compares to an operating profit of $6.6
million and net earnings of $3.5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009.
Revenue for the quarter was $52.6 million from the sale of 21.0 million pounds
of copper and 216,000 pounds of molybdenum at an average realized price of
US$2.10 per pound for copper and US$10.56 per pound for molybdenum.
    Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko commented, "Since the
beginning of the year our operating margins have increased on a month over
month basis, as a result of cost containment initiatives and the strengthening
copper price.
    With our balance sheet in very good shape, and growing cash flows, we are
aggressively working to complete the few remaining capital expenditures
required to boost our concentrator throughput capacity to 55,000 tons per day.
    Our newly installed Vertimill, along with additional flotation capacity,
will give immediate copper recovery improvements. We expect to increase the
ore crushing capacity by mid-2010, with the commissioning of our new in-pit
crusher and overland conveyor system. The combination of the additional
flotation capacity and increased crushing and grinding capabilities will
increase our metal production capacity at Gibraltar to an estimated 115
million pounds per year by the middle of 2010.
    As well, Gibraltar's management team recently completed a Business
Improvement Initiative. This initiative has identified $20 million worth of
annual cost saving improvements that we are presently engaged in addressing.
    In conjunction with increased concentrator throughput, improved metal
recoveries, a reduction of mining costs as we maximize the productive capacity
of our new mining fleet and our focus on the Business Improvement Initiative,
Gibraltar's management team will continue to push Gibraltar down the cost
curve enhancing our profitability."
    Mr. Hallbauer concluded, "We are also extremely pleased with the progress
of the Environmental Review of our Prosperity Project over the past three
months. The Provincial and Federal agencies are progressing with their work as
we had envisioned.
    The Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has provided clarification
on its evaluation of our compensation plan for Fish Lake and is harmonizing
those efforts with Provincial agencies. This is a very important step for the
    We anticipate receiving our Environmental Assessment and we see no
obvious encumbrances that would prevent Prosperity from becoming a long life
mine, like Gibraltar, contributing economic returns to our shareholders and
creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Cariboo region."

    Gibraltar Production and Sales

    -   In the six months ended June 30, 2009, copper in concentrate sales
        was 39.5 million pounds and 0.71 million pounds of copper cathode was
        sold. Molybdenum in concentrate sales was 445,000 pounds.

    -   Taseko has established a hedging program for 50% of its targeted
        copper production, approximately 30 million pounds of copper, within
        a price range of US$1.88-2.36 per pound from May to December 2009.
        The Company subsequently extended the program on half of the targeted
        production per month to May 2010: the price range is US$2.00-2.61 per
        pound in January and February 2010, US$2.00-2.61 per pound in March
        2010 and US$2.15-2.73 per pound in April and May 2010.

    The following table illustrates detail on Gibraltar's six-month
performance in fiscal 2009:

                                      Three months Three months   Six months
                                             ended        ended        ended
                                          March 31      June 30      June 30
                                              2009         2009         2009
    Total tons mined (millions)(1)             6.9          7.9         14.8
    Tons of ore milled (millions)              3.2          3.3          6.5
    Stripping ratio                            1.0          1.4          1.2
    Copper grade (%)                          0.37         0.33         0.35
    Molybdenum grade (%Mo)                   0.010        0.011        0.011
    Copper recovery (%)                       82.3         83.7         83.0
    Molybdenum recovery (%)                   30.8         30.3         30.6
    Copper production (millions lb)(2)        19.9         19.1         39.0
    Molybdenum production (thousands lb)       187          217          404
    Copper production costs, net of
     by-product credits, per lb
     of copper(3)                          US$0.90      US$0.96      US$0.94
    Off property costs for transport,
     treatment (smelting & refining)
     & sales per lb of copper              US$0.28      US$0.34      US$0.29
    Total cash costs of production
     per lb of copper(4)                   US$1.18      US$1.30      US$1.23
    Notes to table:

    (1) Total tons mined includes sulphide ore, oxide ore, low grade
        stockpile material, overburden, and waste rock which were moved from
        within pit limit to outside pit limit during the period.
    (2) 2009 copper production includes 38.3 million lb in concentrate and
        0.7 million lb in cathode.
    (3) By-product credit is based on pounds of molybdenum and ounces of
        silver sold.
    (4) Cash costs of production is a non-GAAP measure. This non-GAAP measure
        is intended to provide additional information to investor and should
        not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of
        performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.
        Cash costs of production is a common performance measure in the
        copper industry and includes direct cost of operations and related
        costs through to refined metal, excluding amortization.

    The Gibraltar mine operated for the first six months of 2009 under a plan
initiated in November 2008, based on 45,000 tons per day ("tpd") mill
throughput and mining at a significantly reduced strip ratio. This new
operational plan, along with declining input costs and the realization of the
Phase 1 expansion, resulted in substantially reduced costs compared to prior
years. The mine is currently reviewing a return to deposit average strip ratio
based on recent strength in copper and molybdenum demand and corresponding
increases in metal prices.
    Copper in concentrate production during the three-month period ended June
30, 2009 was 19.1 million pounds, a decrease from the 19.7 million pounds
produced in the first quarter of 2009 as a result of lower copper grade,
partially offset by improved recovery. Three-month molybdenum in concentrate
production increased from the first quarter of 2009 because of higher grades.
    Copper in concentrate production was 38.3 million pounds and molybdenum
in concentrate production was 404,000 pounds in the six months ended June 30,
2009. Copper cathode produced over the six months has been 700,000 pounds.
These figures are in line with annual production guidance of 80 million pounds
of copper and 800 thousand pounds of molybdenum.
    Cash costs of production during the quarter ended June 30, 2009 was
US$1.30 per pound, a 60% decrease in cost from the same quarter of 2008, and a
10% increase over the first quarter of 2009. Over the six months of 2009, the
average cost of production has been US$1.23 per pound.

    Fixed Infrastructure Upgrades and Installations

    Construction of the Phase 1 mill upgrade was completed in February 2008.
The ramp up to the rated processing capacity of 46,000 tons per day has been
essentially achieved during the first half of 2009 as mill operations
personnel continue to refine the metallurgical performance relating to grind
size at higher mill throughput rates and metal recovery. Copper recoveries
have increased from 73.2% in October 2008 to average 83.0% in the first half
of 2009.
    Current upgrade construction work consists of modernizing and increasing
the capacity of the regrind and cleaner flotation circuits to increase
throughput capacity and improve metal recovery. This portion of the work will
be completed in August and recovery improvements are expected to be realized
quite quickly. Further planned upgrades consist of improvements to ancillary
circuits along with installation of a two-stage tailings pumping system,
designed to increase concentrator capacity from 46,000 to 55,000 tpd. In the
fall of 2009, work is expected to resume on the installation of an in-pit
crusher and conveyor system and a Semi-Autogenous Grinding ("SAG") mill direct
feed system, which will eliminate the materials handling issues in the
secondary crusher circuit. Ramp up to 55,000 tpd will occur following
completion of the above infrastructure upgrades and installations.

    Taseko will host a conference call on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at
    12:30 p.m. Eastern Time (9:30 a.m. Pacific) to discuss these results. The
    conference call may be accessed by dialing (877) 440-5796, or
    (719) 325-4872 internationally. A live and archived audio webcast will
    also be available at www.tasekomines.com.

    The conference call will be archived for later playback until August 19,
    2009 and can be accessed by dialing (888) 203-1112 in Canada and the
    United States, or (719) 457-0820 internationally and using the passcode

    Russell Hallbauer
    President and CEO

    No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved of the information
    contained in this news release.

    Forward Looking Statements

    This release includes certain statements that may be deemed
"forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than
statements of historical facts, that address future production, reserve
potential, exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or
developments that the Company expects are forward-looking statements. Although
the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking
statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not
guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ
materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking
statements include capital market conditions, commodities market prices,
exploitation and exploration successes, lack of continuity of mineralization,
completion of the mill upgrade on time estimated and at scheduled cost,
continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market
or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are
not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or developments
may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
For more information on the Company, Investors should review the Company's
annual Form 40-F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission or the Company's home jurisdiction filings at www.sedar.com.

For further information:

For further information: Brian Bergot, Investor Relations - (778)
373-4545, toll free 1-800-667-2114

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