In February 2019, Taseko acquired Yellowhead Mining Inc. for $13 million, payable in Taseko common shares.
In January 2020, the Company filed a new technical report with a mineral reserve update, which announced improved project economics, as compared to the 2014 Feasibility Study, and a new 817 million tonne reserve estimate.
The project development plan presented in the 2020 Technical Report includes a 90,000 tonne per day concentrator, with average annual copper production of 200 million pounds for the first five years after start up, plus significant gold and silver by-products. Total pre-production capital costs are estimated to be C$1.3 billion and average operating costs of US$1.67 per pound of copper.
With a pre-tax net present value of approximately C$1.3 billion (using US$3.10 per pound copper, a foreign exchange rate of US$0.80:C$1.00, and an 8% discount rate), the Yellowhead Project represents a significant element of Taseko’s long-term growth strategy.
Taseko is focused on advancing the Yellowhead Project into the Environmental Assessment (EA) process beginning with the submission of an Initial Project Description. This work includes: ongoing engagement with local Indigenous communities; additional engineering studies; and, baseline data collection and modeling in anticipation of future EA and project permitting requirements.
Some differences from the original 2014 Feasibilty Study to the new Technical Report include:
- a 100 million tonne increase to reserves
- an increase in the copper cut-off grade to 0.17%
- throughput increase to 90,000 tonnes per day
- relocated primary crusher to a 90 meter lower elevation
- and an improved water management plan which reduces stored water by 90%
Yellowhead Project Highlights:
|Average Copper Grade||0.32%||0.28%|
|Average Copper Equivalent Grade||0.35% CuEq||0.29% CuEq|
|Average Annual Copper Production||200 million lbs||180 million lbs|
|Average Annual Pre-tax Cashflow||C$330 million||C$270 million|
|Average cost per pound copper*||US$1.43/lb||US$1.67/lb|
- Pre-tax net present value of C$1.3 billion at an 8% discount rate
- Pre-tax internal rate of return of 18% with a 4.2 year payback
- 817 million tonne Proven and Probable Mineral Reserve grading 0.29% copper equivalent
- Cost per tonne milled of C$9.97 (mining, milling & site G&A)
- 25-year mine life
- Total life of mine production in excess of 4.4 billion pounds of copper, 440,000 ounces of gold and 19 million ounces of silver
- Total pre-production capital cost of C$1.3 billion
- Long-term copper price of US$3.10 per pound and foreign exchange rate of US$0.80:C$1.00
The Technical Report, completed in 2020 by Taseko can be found below: