VANCOUVER, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE AMEX: TGB) ("Taseko" or the "Company") announces that it has signed a letter of intent with Sojitz Corporation ("Sojitz") to establish by early 2010 a joint venture over Taseko's Gibraltar copper/molybdenum mine in which Taseko will hold 75% and Sojitz 25%. Sojitz will pay approximately $180 million to Taseko for its 25% interest. Taseko will continue to be the operator of Gibraltar.
Russell Hallbauer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Taseko commented, "The formation of this joint venture with a prominent Japanese company is an important step for Taseko, advancing our business plan that includes establishing strategic alliances. As well, it confirms the value that Taseko management has created over the past few years at Gibraltar and underscores the importance of having this long life asset.
This transaction also represents a major advancement of plans to develop our 100% owned Prosperity gold/copper project. With the closing of this transaction, we will have a significant portion of the equity requirement for the construction of a new mine at the Prosperity property.
We are very pleased to have attracted a world class partner in Sojitz. Their historical investments in the British Columbia mining industry and their global trade capabilities position them as an ideal partner for Taseko."
Sojitz Corporation is a Japanese-based diversified trading company with interests in the machinery, energy and metals, chemicals and consumer products sectors. Sojitz has also made a number of equity investments in the British Columbia mining industry.
The completion of this transaction is subject to ongoing Sojitz due diligence activities, the negotiation and execution of mutually acceptable definitive binding agreements and customary closing deliveries. The letter of intent provides for exclusivity of negotiations and a break fee payable by Taseko.
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 intended future agreements, 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.
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