Canada-based Taseko Mines Limited said that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publicly issued a draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit for Taseko’s Florence Copper Project in Arizona. The public comment period for the draft federal permit will last 45 days, ending on 29 September, with a virtual public hearing to be held on 15 September.
The Draft Class III UIC Area Permit, if issued, would authorize Florence Copper to conduct commercial-scale in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) operations, and inject a dilute sulfuric acid solution into the copper orebody to recover copper-laden solution for the purpose of producing copper. EPA proposes to issue the permit for an initial well construction and testing period, staged wellfield development and mining operation for a period of up to 24 years, and at least 5 years of post-closure monitoring.
The Draft Permit includes terms and conditions for well construction and testing, operation, monitoring and reporting, aquifer restoration, wellfield closure, and post-closure monitoring for the duration of the Florence Copper Project.
The UIC permit is the final key permit required for the construction and operation of the Florence Copper commercial facility. 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.
Stuart McDonald, Taseko’s President and CEO, states: “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. Development of the project is being performed in two phases—the first phase is a production test facility, which is followed by the second phase commercial facility.”