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Taseko Reports $108 Million of Adjusted EBITDA for 2020

Press Release

February 24, 2021, Vancouver, BC – Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE American: TGB; LSE: TKO) (“Taseko” or the “Company”) reports full-year 2020 earnings from mining operations before depletion and amortization* of $119 million and Adjusted EBITDA* of $108 million. For the year, the Company had a Net Loss of $24 million, or $0.09 per share.

Russell Hallbauer, CEO and Director, commented, “We have witnessed a remarkable recovery in the copper market since March of last year. The price of copper has more than doubled in that time and even since the end of 2020, the price has climbed a further US$0.70 per pound. Last year, Gibraltar produced 123 million pounds of copper, and our 2021 production estimate is slightly higher at 125 million pounds. Gibraltar has been Taseko’s cornerstone asset for over 15 years, generating positive cash flow through the copper price cycles, but it is times like this that we truly benefit from the leverage to copper from our large, steady-state production base. At current copper prices, which are now US$1.45 per pound higher than last year’s average, we would have generated roughly $275 million of adjusted EBITDA* in 2020.”

“Copper production in the fourth quarter was 25 million pounds, which was below prior quarters due to lower grade and harder ore as mining transitioned into the Pollyanna pit. Mine-to-mill adjustments were made during the fourth quarter and throughput returned to design capacity in December. The Pollyanna pit, which is about 4% lower grade than the reserve grade, will be the main source of ore for the first half of 2021. In the second half of the year, ore mining will commence in the Gibraltar pit, which is higher grade and has a lower work index (softer ore),” added Mr. Hallbauer.

Stuart McDonald, President of Taseko, continued, “The $108 million of adjusted EBITDA* and $106 million of operating cash flow we generated in 2020 was a tremendous accomplishment and demonstrates the resiliency of our operation in the face of a global pandemic and volatile economic environment.

Our successes, however, were not limited to Gibraltar. At Florence Copper we have achieved key milestones in recent months which have de-risked the project considerably. We received the state permit in December and we continue to expect the federal permit from the EPA in the coming months. And in February we completed a successful US$400 million bond refinancing which was upsized to provide financing for development of the commercial facility at Florence. We now have a cash balance of approximately US$200 million and with the majority of required funding in hand we are moving forward with final design engineering and procurement initiatives. This work will facilitate a seamless construction start up and we will move forward expeditiously with on-the-ground construction activities as soon as we have the final permits in place.”

“2021 will be a transformational year for Taseko as we take the final steps to unlock the full value of Florence and pave the way to becoming a multi-asset copper producer. The addition of Florence will increase Taseko’s attributable annual copper production by 85% to approximately 185 million pounds. Florence production will also significantly reduce Taseko’s consolidated operating costs given its expected C1 operating costs of US$0.90 per pound of copper. With increased investor focus on sustainability and environmental footprint, we are very proud of the fact that Florence Copper will also be one of the greenest copper production facilities in the world and will provide high quality copper to the US domestic market in support of its green infrastructure and electrification initiatives in the years to come,” concluded Mr. McDonald.

2020 Annual Review

  • Earnings from mining operations before depletion and amortization* was $119.0 million and Adjusted EBITDA* was $108.2 million;
  • Cash flows from operations was $106.2 million, compared to $42.6 million in the prior year;
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic management implemented a number of cost saving initiatives in 2020, including a revised mine plan for Gibraltar, which reduced total site operating costs by $28.2 million compared to 2019. Site operating costs, net of by-product credits* was US$1.62 per pound produced, and total operating costs (C1)* was US$1.92 per pound produced;
  • The Gibraltar mine operated continuously through the year and produced 123.0 million pounds of copper and 2.3 million pounds of molybdenum (100% basis). Copper recoveries were 84.3% and copper head grades for the year were 0.243%;
  • Gibraltar extended its five-year copper concentrate offtake contract, for roughly 50% of its production, for an additional year, which is expected to result in a 30% reduction in treatment and refining costs in 2021, reflecting the continued tight physical copper concentrate market conditions and the strategic demand for Gibraltar’s high-quality concentrates;
  • On November 17, 2020, Taseko closed an offering of common shares for net proceeds of $34.3 million;
  • On February 10, 2021, Taseko closed an offering of US$400 million 7% Senior Secured Notes due 2026. A portion of the proceeds will be used to redeem all of the outstanding US$250 million 8.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2022 on March 3, 2021, including accrued interest and transaction costs;
  • The Company’s cash balance at December 31, 2020 was $85.1 million, and the bond refinancing transaction in February 2021 provided additional net cash proceeds of $167 million (or US$131 million);
  • Copper prices have recovered strongly and the current price of US$4.12 per pound is significantly higher than the average LME price of $2.80 per pound in 2020; and
  • The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) issued the Aquifer Protection Permit (“APP”) for the Florence Copper Project on December 8, 2020. The Company is now moving forward with final design engineering of the Florence commercial production facility and procurement of certain critical components.

Fourth Quarter Review

  • Fourth quarter earnings from mining operations before depletion and amortization* was $27.1 million, and Adjusted EBITDA* was $20.5 million;
  • Cash flow from operations was $20.4 million;
  • The Gibraltar mine produced 25.0 million pounds of copper in the fourth quarter. Copper recoveries were 83.3% and copper head grades were 0.201%;
  • Gibraltar sold 25.0 million pounds of copper in the quarter (100% basis) which resulted in $85.9 million of revenue for Taseko. Average LME copper prices were US$3.25 per pound in the quarter and revenue also included positive provisional price adjustments of $8.4 million; and
  • Net income (GAAP) for the fourth quarter was $5.7 million ($0.02 per share). Adjusted net loss* was $7.5 million ($0.03 loss per share).

Read More: https://www.tasekomines.com/assets/docs/2021-02-24-NR-TKO-Fus992GnJj.pdf

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