Taseko reports third quarter 2012 results and provides operational update

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This release should be read with the Company's Financial Statements and Management Discussion & Analysis ("MD&A"), available at {C} www.tasekomines.com{C} and filed on {C} www.sedar.com{C} . Except where otherwise noted, all currency amounts are stated in Canadian dollars. Taseko's 75% owned Gibraltar Mine is located north of the City of Williams Lake in south-central British Columbia. Production volumes stated in this release are on a 100% basis unless otherwise indicated.

VANCOUVER , Oct. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE MKT: TGB) ("Taseko" or the "Company") reports the results for the three months ended September 30, 2012 .

Highlights

  • Revenues for the third quarter 2012 were $61.0 million from the sale of 16.1 million pounds of copper and 209 thousand pounds of molybdenum (Taseko's 75% share).
  • Total production at {C} Gibraltar{C} for the quarter ended {C} September 30, 2012{C} was 23.7 million pounds of copper and 276 thousand pounds of molybdenum.
  • {C} Gibraltar{C} Development Plan 3 (GDP3) is seven weeks from initial commissioning. During the third quarter, first phase commissioning of the conveyor system was completed.
  • Spending on New Prosperity and Aley projects in the third quarter totalled {C} $6.8 million{C} .
  • On {C} September 20, 2012{C} Taseko submitted the Environmental Impact Statement for the New Prosperity Project to the Federal Review Panel established for the federal environmental assessment of the project.
  • {C} Gibraltar{C} received the Mine Reclamation Award from the Provincial Government's Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation in recognition for its large-scale reclamation projects and progressive reclamation research trials.

For the three months ended September 30, 2012 , Taseko had gross profit of $11.7 million , a net loss of $3.9 million and adjusted net earnings of $1.5 million . This compares to gross profit of $25.2 million , net earnings of $30.0 million and an adjusted net loss of $2.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2011 .

Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko, commented, "With the ramp up of GDP2 effectively behind us and commissioning of GDP3 expected to commence later this quarter, we are in an enviable position heading into next year. 2013 will be a year of significant growth with the potential to nearly double our revenue with a commensurate increase in free cash flow and earnings. At the same time, exploration and evaluation expenditures will be approximately one half of 2012 levels as the majority of our project work is complete. This reduction in project expenditures will translate into near-term earnings improvements."

Mr. Hallbauer continued, "Current production has achieved steady state at very close to capacity. As previously disclosed, both the third and fourth quarter production will be somewhat impacted by GDP3 tie-ins, which will have a negative impact on operating costs. Taking into account downtime in the quarter, the concentrator operated at 95% of daily design capacity. Now that we have the mill running at consistent levels, we will focus on metal recoveries and other optimization initiatives."

Mill throughput is anticipated to be 12 to 14 million tons during the first half of 2013 while GDP3 is ramping up. For the second half of 2013, mill throughput is forecast to be 14 to 15 million tons.

Mr. Hallbauer concluded, "In the third quarter, we continued spending on both our New Prosperity and Aley projects. At Aley, most of the technical work that is required to upgrade the mineral resource to a 43-101 compliant reserve has been completed. Metallurgical tests and the process flowsheet are nearly finalized and we are encouraged by results to-date. For New Prosperity, our 2013 budget is comprised mainly of environmental assessment work and detailed engineering. Discussions are well advanced on marketing arrangements for both New Prosperity and Aley - we intend to conclude off-take agreements in the new year. Our expectation is that both projects will be construction ready in 2014, at which time we will determine optimal sequencing to effectively manage our future growth."

 

Taseko will host a conference call on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time ( 8:00 a.m. Pacific) to discuss these results. The conference call may be accessed by dialing (877) 303-9079, or (970) 315-0461 internationally. Accompanying presentation slides will be available to download at tasekomines.com. Alternatively, a live and archived webcast will also be available at tasekomines.com . The conference call will be archived for later playback until November 8, 2012 and can be accessed by dialing (855) 859-2056 in Canada and the United States , or (404) 537-3406 internationally and using the passcode