Taseko’s Gibraltar mine produces 97 million pounds of copper in 2022, British Columbia
Taseko Mines Ltd. [TKO-TSX, LSE; TGB-NYSE American] had 2022 copper sales of 101 million pounds and production of 97 million pounds from the 75%-owned Gibraltar mine 65 km north of the City of Williams Lake, central British Columbia. Fourth quarter copper sales were 26 million pounds and production was 27 million pounds.
Stuart McDonald, president and CEO, stated: “Mill throughput in October and November averaged above design capacity, but production in December was impacted by unplanned mill downtime, including a site-wide power outage late in the month. Although the power outage was only 24 hours in duration, the severe cold temperatures of minus-35 degrees Celsius (minus-31 degrees Fahrenheit) immediately froze a number of essential systems in the mills, which delayed the restart of milling operations for several days. Our operations personnel did a good job to safely return milling operations to full capacity by the end of the month, with no damage to any critical systems. However, mill throughput averaged only 63,000 tons per day in December, compared with 88,000 tons per day in October and November. Copper recoveries in the fourth quarter were 82%, an improvement over the prior quarters in 2022.
“Molybdenum production of 360,000 pounds in the fourth quarter was the best quarter in 2022. Robust molybdenum pricing, increasing by nearly 75% to over US$30 per pound at year-end is expected to drive a strong byproduct credit in the quarters ahead,” added McDonald.
“Mining operations have advanced deeper into the Gibraltar pit and were largely unaffected by this recent severe winter weather and power outage. Copper grades in the fourth quarter were similar to the third quarter due to the continued impact of higher mining dilution. We are advancing a number of initiatives to reduce the above normal mining dilution that we have been experiencing in the Gibraltar pit. With milling operations stabilized, we expect improved production in the first quarter and a more consistent quarterly production profile through 2023,” concluded McDonald.
Production and sales volumes stated in this release are on a 100% basis.