The US Environmental Safety Company (EPA) has issued a draft determination on the underground injection management (UIC) allow required for Taseko Mines Restricted (TSX: TKO; NYSE MKT: TGB; LSE: TKO) to construct a commercial-scale resolution copper mining operation at Florence, Arizona.
In a press launch issued on November 22, Taseko stated its undertaking technical group would full a evaluate of the allow wording inside the two-week allotted timeframe, following which the EPA is anticipated to begin a public remark interval, in all probability solely within the New Yr.
Taseko president, Stuart McDonald, stated detailed engineering and procurement actions have been effectively superior, inserting the corporate prepared to begin development of the industrial facility instantly upon receiving the ultimate UIC allow.
The corporate anticipated the draft determination by June earlier than that timeline slipped to someday within the third quarter.
Now that the draft allow has been issued, there shall be a 30-day public remark interval with a public listening to scheduled in the direction of the top, much like the Arizona state course of the corporate accomplished final yr.
“The Florence copper undertaking may have one of many smallest environmental footprints of any copper mine on the earth,” stated McDonald.
The Vancouver-based miner plans to inject sulfuric acid and water deep underground to extract the already and naturally damaged up mineral deposit, a course of that some evaluate to oilfield fracking. Uranium miners in rural Australia and the US have used the tactic for many years, however in situ leaching has hardly ever been utilized to copper mining.
Frightened about potential groundwater contamination, officers in Florence, Arizona, have tried and failed to dam Taseko’s undertaking for nearly a decade.
An appeals court docket earlier this yr put an finish to the city’s authorized obstructions, which included an try to take Taseko’s land by way of eminent area.
Florence, about midway between Phoenix and Tucson, is being developed in two phases. A US$25 million manufacturing check facility with 24 wells and a solvent extraction and electrowinning plant has been working since December 2018 to generate copper cathode.
A commercial-scale facility will observe, with the allowing course of to transition the undertaking into the second section – this would come with an expanded wellfield and plant.
Taseko says the know-how chosen for Florence permits for a ‘inexperienced method’ of manufacturing copper, which aligns with President Joe Biden’s name to spice up native manufacturing and electrification plans.
As soon as up and operating, Florence is anticipated to provide 85 million kilos of copper per yr, which might be sufficient to fabricate 500,000 electrical autos.
Shares within the firm’s London-listed fairness traded 3.3% increased on Monday at 156p apiece.