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Taseko says EPA issued draft permit for its Florence Copper project in Arizona

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(Kitco News) - On Monday, Taseko Mines (TSX: TKO; NYSE: TGB) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publicly issued a draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit for its Florence Copper project.

According to a press-release, the EPA has stated that the public comment period for the draft federal permit will last 45 days, ending on September 29, with a virtual public hearing to be held on September 15.

Importantly, Taseko said that the UIC permit is the final key permit required for the construction and operation of the Florence Copper commercial facility.

The company noted that Florence Copper is expected to have the lowest energy and greenhouse gas-intensity of any copper producer in North America, and will reduce the United States' reliance on foreign producers for a metal considered to be critical for the transition to a low-carbon economy.

"As the United States advances toward its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – including 100% clean electricity by 2035 and 50% light-duty electrical vehicle sales by 2030 – the country will need to address its reliance on imports of critical metals. Low impact, environmentally sound projects like Florence Copper will help meet the growing U.S. demand for copper," stated President and CEO Stuart McDonald.

"Our project has gone through extensive scrutiny by both the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA over the past eight years and we are confident that the rigorous work completed by both these regulatory bodies will result in permitting success in the coming months," he added.

Taseko's wholly owned Florence Copper, an in-situ copper recovery project, is located midway between Phoenix and Tucson near the community of Florence, Arizona.

The company said that the advanced-stage Florence Copper project strengthens the company's near-term development pipeline and will significantly increase Taseko's copper production.

Taseko indicated that at US$4,700 per ton of installed capacity, Florence Copper is one of the lowest capital intensity copper projects in the world, with an after-tax net present value of US$680 million at a 7.5% discount rate, Probable Reserves of 345 million tons grading 0.36% Cu, 85 million pounds average annual copper production, and a 20-year mine life.

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