TSX- and NYSE-listed Taseko Mines has started wellfield operations at its Florence copper project, in central Arizona.
This follows after state operating permits were finalised last year.
The company reported on Tuesday that injection and recovery systems have been fully ramped up. Following initial leaching periods, leach solutions are flowing at expected levels and copper has been detected in solutions recovered from the process wells.
Taseko president and CEO Russel Hallbauer commented that the preliminary tracer tests of the wellfield that were done in the third quarter of 2018 exhibited robust percolation rates through the orebody.
“These results were as good as, and in some cases better than, modeled in the 2017 technical study. The rate at which the dissolved copper is increasing in the leach solution further confirms historical test work and technical data,” he explained.
He added that, with operating costs of $1.10/lb of copper and a low capital cost intensity of $5 200/t of copper capacity, as well as a pre-tax net present value of $920-million, the Florence project would bolster the long-term financial returns of the company.