VANCOUVER, Oct. 7 /CNW/ - Taseko Mines Limited ("Taseko" or the "Company") (TSX: TKO; NYSE Amex: TGB) reports third quarter 2009 production results for its Gibraltar Mine.
For the third quarter of 2009, the Gibraltar Mine produced 14 million pounds of copper and 112 thousand pounds of molybdenum.
Metal production in the quarter was affected by a geotechnical problem, related to surface soil instability at the edge of the Granite Pit, which occurred in mid-July. As a result, mining operations had to deviate from the mine plan for the balance of the third quarter. Subsequently, ore release could only be achieved from mining faces that were significantly below the Granite Pit average grade. Normally, lower grade ore would be mined in conjunction with higher grade ore to maintain the pit average grade. Additionally, the lower grade ore resulted in decreased metal recoveries that negatively affected production. The combination of lower grade and lower metal recoveries reduced metal production by approximately four million pounds of copper and 100 thousand pounds of molybdenum for the third quarter.
The geotechnical issue has been resolved and Gibraltar mine operations re-established mining faces during August and September allowing a return to mine plan grade in October.
Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko commented, "After four consecutive quarters of strong production performance, this geotechnical issue is an unfortunate setback for the mine. However, the mine operations team effectively managed the deviation from the mine plan and the mine and mill have now returned to normal operating conditions."
In August, as reported during Taseko's second quarter results conference call, the decision was made to begin increasing waste stripping towards the deposit average, a full year ahead of the schedule laid out in late 2008. The increase is in anticipation of daily concentrator throughput growing to 55,000 tons per day now that expansion activities are again underway. Copper price strength is allowing the Company to invest in waste stripping while maintaining healthy operating margins.
President and CEO
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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, continued availability of capital and financing, the ability to obtain and maintain required permits, including environmental, construction and mining permits 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.
SOURCE Taseko Mines Limited
For further information: For further information: on Taseko, please see the Company's website www.tasekomines.com or contact: Brian Bergot, Investor Relations, (778) 373-4545, toll free 1-800-667-2114