Taseko Mines Limited has published its annual report on the company’s sustainability performance for 2020.
The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report is titled Sustainability: Our Low Carbon Future.
Stuart McDonald, TML president, said while 2020 was a difficult year in many respects with lower copper prices earlier in the year and a worldwide health pandemic at the forefront, people, communities and companies rallied together and adapted.
“During this challenging year we continued to keep our employees safe and working, while also meeting our commitments to the environment and communities,” McDonald said.
“I want to specifically acknowledge the work of our employees whose dedication and commitment to success resulted in an environmental reclamation award, Indigenous partnerships and exceptional health and safety performance.”
McDonald said Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake played an important role providing economic strength in local communities, while the company also worked to advance other projects, including its Florence Copper Project in Arizona which will have one of the smallest environmental footprints and lowest carbon intensity of any copper mine in the world.
“It is an opportunity for copper production with minimal environmental impacts, including: water consumption that is 14 times lower, carbon emissions six times lower and energy consumption three times lower than a conventional mining operation,” McDonald said.
In this year’s ESG report, Taseko has reported what is called ‘Scope 1’ and ‘Scope 2’ greenhouse gas emissions for the Gibraltar Mine, which show the mine ranks in the first quartile of all copper mines globally.
McDonald said when commercial operations at Florence Copper commence, the company’s combined GHG emissions intensity will drop even lower, to an estimated 1.53 tonnes of CO2e per tonne of copper equivalent, based on an independent analysis by Skarn Associates.
Sustainability highlights for TML from its 2020 report include:
• Rigorous health and safety protocols enabled operations to continue at the Gibraltar Mine in Williams Lake and at Florence Copper in Arizona during the COVID-19 pandemic
• Recognition from the B.C. Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation with the Jake McDonald Award for outstanding work in mine reclamation and Indigenous collaboration
• Outstanding safety performance at Gibraltar Mine with zero loss time incidents, zero days lost, zero loss time severity and zero loss time frequency
• Continued commitment to a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we operate. In 2020, 28 per cent of the new hires at Taseko were female and 15 per cent were Indigenous people
• A priority on securing local goods and services with $116 million Canadian and $2.5 million U.S. being distributed in wages to local employees from Gibraltar and Florence Copper, respectively
• Low Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions of 1.66 tonnes of CO2e per tonnes of copper produced equivalent and 0.09 tonnes of CO2e per tonnes of copper equivalent produced, respectively
The report also notes continued discussions with the company’s Indigenous neighbours, that included a Framework Agreement with a local Indigenous Nation to begin discussions on the Yellowhead Project, as well as an extension to the standstill agreement with the Tsilhqot’in Nation as both parties seek a long-term solution to the conflict surrounding Taseko’s proposed gold-copper mine currently known as New Prosperity.