Vancouver, BC - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE Amex: TGB) (“Taseko” or the “Company”) announces that six weeks of Federal Panel Review Hearings into the Company’s Prosperity Gold-Copper Project (the “Project”) have now concluded, the record has been closed and no additional information will be considered by the Panel. The Panel has 60 days to prepare its report for submission to the federal Minister of the Environment and other agencies - no later than July 2, 2010 - as directed by its Terms of Reference. The Minister will then take the matter to the federal Cabinet for a final decision.
“All potential environmental effects were examined by the responsible federal departments, agencies and authorities and based on the evidence and findings presented during these past 6 weeks of hearings, and we remain fully confident that the Cabinet will grant approval for mine development,” said Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO. “After hearing all of the evidence, our position remains that there are no significant environmental effects after taking the mitigation measures into account,” added Mr. Hallbauer.
Health Canada is satisfied that there are no human health effects or any ecological health concerns associated with building and operating this mine. Both Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada agree with Taseko’s findings concerning water quality and aquatic ecology. On the matter of compensation for impacts on fish habitat, the Company and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans continue to work cooperatively towards resolving any outstanding issues.
Taseko’s closing submission to the Panel emphasized some key points, including the economic and social needs of the region, an area in which over the last year consumer bankruptcies have increased by 70 percent, the unemployment rate has increased 84 percent and, in Williams Lake, the residential rental vacancy rates have increased 700 percent. The closing submission is posted on the Taseko website www.tasekomines.com under Events and the Prosperity Project website www.prosperityproject.ca under What’s New.
The area where the proposed Prosperity Mine is located is not subject to aboriginal title; it is Crown land, owned and regulated by the Province of British Columbia which issued the Project an Environmental Assessment Certificate and approved the Project for development on January 14, 2010.
President and CEO
No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved of the information contained in this news release.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This document contains “forward-looking statements” that were based on Taseko’s expectations, estimates and projections as of the dates as of which those statements were made. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “outlook”, “anticipate”, “project”, “target”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “should” and similar expressions.
Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These included but are not limited to:
- uncertainties and costs related to the Company’s exploration and development activities, such as those associated with continuity of mineralization or determining whether mineral resources or reserves exist on a property;
- uncertainties related to the accuracy of our estimates of mineral reserves, mineral resources, production rates and timing of production, future production and future cash and total costs of production and milling;
- uncertainties related to feasibility studies that provide estimates of expected or anticipated costs, expenditures and economic returns from a mining project;
- uncertainties related to our ability to complete the mill upgrade on time estimated and at the scheduled cost;
- uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary licenses permits for development projects and project delays due to third party opposition;
- uncertainties related to unexpected or ongoing judicial or regulatory proceedings;
- changes in, and the effects of, the laws, regulations and government policies affecting our exploration and development activities and mining operations, particularly laws, regulations and policies;
- changes in general economic conditions, the financial markets and in the demand and market price for copper, gold and other minerals and commodities, such as diesel fuel, steel, concrete, electricity and other forms of energy, mining equipment, and fluctuations in exchange rates, particularly with respect to the value of the U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar, and the continued availability of capital and financing;
- the effects of forward selling instruments to protect against fluctuations in copper prices and exchange rate movements and the risks of counterparty defaults, and mark to market risk;
- the risk of inadequate insurance or inability to obtain insurance to cover mining risks;
- the risk of loss of key employees; the risk of changes in accounting policies and methods we use to report our financial condition, including uncertainties associated with critical accounting assumptions and estimates;
- environmental issues and liabilities associated with mining including processing and stock piling ore; and
- labour strikes, work stoppages, or other interruptions to, or difficulties in, the employment of labour in markets in which we operate mines, or environmental hazards, industrial accidents or other events or occurrences, including third party interference that interrupt the production of minerals in our mines.
For further information on Taseko, investors should review the Company’s annual Form 40-F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission www.sec.gov and home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
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