VANCOUVER, Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE Amex: TGB) ("Taseko" or the "Company") confirmed its Gibraltar Development Plan 3 ("GDP3") 2012 capital program today, announcing planned expenditures of $134 million this year. The GDP3 investment will increase Taseko's share of copper production capacity to 140 million pounds per year.
In addition, Taseko has committed a further $31 million in 2012 for development and advancement of the wholly-owned Aley Niobium Project and New Prosperity Gold-Copper Project, both in British Columbia.
Russell Hallbauer, President & CEO commented, " A key strategic priority for Taseko in 2012 will be positioning the Company for growth in 2013 and beyond. This priority includes the GDP3 project build-out and the near-term production growth it will provide. We are over six months into the 18 month project. On a 100% basis, Gibraltar has spent $56 million and has fixed price commitments of $70 million, with a budgeted total of $235 million (excluding mining equipment). The remaining $109 million will be made up of construction materials and contracts. The project is on budget and on time for a December 2012 completion."
Mr. Hallbauer continued, " The free cash flow from our 75% share of Gibraltar production will support Taseko's Aley and New Prosperity project expenditures. This year will be pivotal for our two development projects. We expect to complete a feasibility study on Aley in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the recently announced environmental assessment process for New Prosperity is scheduled to complete in November 2012 ."Mr. Hallbauer concluded, " Operationally, we are well positioned for the completion of this work, with all of these value-enhancing programs funded from operations and Taseko's $340 million cash position, as at the beginning of 2012. In addition, our Gibraltar operating margins are protected from copper price volatility by the US$3.50/ pound puts that are in place for all of 2012 against 90% of Taseko's share of Gibraltar copper production." Note: Gibraltar is a Joint Venture owned by Taseko Mines Limited (75%) and Cariboo Copper Corp. (25%). Russell Hallbauer President and CEO No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved of the information contained in this news release.