VANCOUVER, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Taseko (TSX: TKO) (NYSE MKT: TGB) (the "Company") announces 2013 copper production of 121.5 million pounds, a 35% increase over that achieved in 2012, and molybdenum production increased 10% to 1.5 million pounds, at its 75% owned Gibraltar Mine.
For the calendar year 2013, total sales from Gibraltar were 114.2 million pounds of copper and 1.3 million pounds of molybdenum. Taseko's 75% share of annual sales was 85.7 million pounds of copper and 1.0 million pounds of molybdenum.
Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko, commented, "We are pleased that the ramp up of the new concentrator is complete and now operating at design capacity. Overall, the two concentrators are performing very well, although there remains work to be done optimizing the copper recovery circuits. Significant recovery improvements were achieved in the new molybdenum separation facility during the fourth quarter with molybdenum recoveries averaging 31%, a 79% increase from that achieved in the third quarter."
Mr. Hallbauer continued, "In the fourth quarter, daily mill throughput averaged 82,400 tons per day, an 81% increase over the same period a year ago. This was achieved even though mill availability was 7% below target. Total production for the quarter was 33.5 million pounds of copper and 480 thousand pounds of molybdenum. During the quarter, mining operations transitioned into a lower grade portion of the Granite Pit, where the copper grade is approximately 10% lower than the life of mine reserve grade. It is expected that the grade will remain at roughly this level through the first four months of 2014 before returning to more normal life of mine grades."2013 fourth quarter total sales were 37.4 million pounds of copper and 500 thousand pounds of molybdenum. Fourth quarter copper inventories were reduced from the previous quarter, however, they remained higher than normal due to a delayed shipment at the end of the year.