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Taseko Reports Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results

Press Release

August 8, 2022, Vancouver, BC – Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE American: TGB; LSE: TKO) (“Taseko” or the “Company”) reports Cash flows provided by operations of $18.3 million, Earnings from mining operations before depletion* of $7.2 million, Adjusted EBITDA* of $1.7 million and an Adjusted net loss* of $16.1 million, or $0.06 per share for the second quarter 2022.

Stuart McDonald, President and CEO of Taseko, stated, “Over the first half of 2022, mining operations were sequencing through the lower grade upper benches of the Gibraltar pit. These smaller, complex ore zones are challenging sections for our mining equipment, resulting in higher dilution and lower than expected copper grade. The mill operated at design capacity in the second quarter, but lower head grades contributed to lower recoveries, resulting in copper production of 21 million pounds.

Mining operations are now advancing deeper into the Gibraltar pit where the higher-grade ore for the upcoming quarters is located. Copper production is expected to be significantly higher in the second half of the year, and we have already seen improvements since quarter-end as 9.5 million pounds of copper was produced in the month of July. We still expect to meet our original copper production guidance of 115 million pounds (+/-5%), but given the more challenging conditions in the first half of the year, now expect to be at the lower end of that range.”

“Our average realized copper price for the period was US$4.08 per pound, but the decline in the price late in the quarter impacted our financial results as we recognized negative price adjustments and an inventory write-down totalling $7 million. Going forward, we have a valuable copper hedge position which protects a minimum price of US$3.75 per pound through June 2023,” continued Mr. McDonald.

Mr. McDonald added, “On the cost side, we continued to see the impact of higher fuel costs in the second quarter, as diesel prices climbed by 23% quarter-over-quarter, and nearly 70% over the prior year. Other than fuel, our total site spending is generally in line with the prior quarter and prior year. Although Total operating costs (C1)* per pound of copper has been driven higher by the lower production in the second quarter, these unit costs will drop significantly in the second half of 2022 as production increases. Diesel prices have recently fallen from their highs in the second quarter.”

“At Florence Copper, we are still waiting for the US Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to begin the public comment period for the draft Underground Injection Control permit. This permit is the final key permit required to construct and operate the commercial production facility. All indications from the EPA are that there are no outstanding items remaining with the permit and they are just completing final internal sign offs. The public comment period is expected to be 45 days. During the second quarter, development costs of $27 million were incurred including procurement of long lead time items that were committed to last year. Capital spending on Florence will now slow down until we receive the final UIC permit,” continued Mr. McDonald.

Second Quarter Review

  • Second quarter cash flow from operations was $18.3 million, earnings from mining operations before depletion and amortization* was $7.2 million and net loss was $5.3 million ($0.02 loss per share);
  • Gibraltar produced 20.7 million pounds of copper for the quarter. Head grades averaged 0.17% which was lower than expected due to the complexity of the ore zones mined in the upper benches of the Gibraltar pit resulting in higher than normal mining dilution. Grades and copper production are expected to improve significantly in the second half of the year;
  • Mill throughput outperformed recent quarters, in line with expectations, due to the softer ore from the Gibraltar pit. Copper recoveries were 77.3% for the quarter and were impacted by the lower head grade;
  • Total site costs* in the second quarter have increased due primarily to the impact of higher diesel costs;
  • Gibraltar sold 21.7 million pounds of copper in the quarter (100% basis) at an average realized copper price of US$4.08 per pound;
  • The decline in copper prices during the second quarter resulted in negative provisional price adjustments of $5.5 million and a write-down of ore stockpile inventories of $1.5 million;
  • Adjusted EBITDA* was $1.7 million and Adjusted net loss* was $16.1 million ($0.06 loss per share), and these amounts include the negative provisional price adjustments and inventory write-down;
  • The Company has copper collar contracts in place to protect a minimum copper price until mid-2023. The copper price collars outstanding at the end of the second quarter resulted in an unrealized gain of $30.7 million. Subsequent to quarter-end, $15.2 million of this gain was realized as cash proceeds upon payout of the July contract and through a repricing of the copper price floors from US$4.00 to US$3.75 per pound for the remainder of 2022;
  • Development costs incurred for Florence Copper were $27.0 million in the quarter and included further payments for major processing equipment for the SX/EW plant, other pre-construction activities and ongoing site costs; and
  • The Company had a cash balance of $176 million and has approximately $240 million of available liquidity at June 30, 2022, including its undrawn US$50 million revolving credit facility.

HIGHLIGHTS

Operating Data (Gibraltar – 100% basis) Three months ended June 30, Six months ended June 30,
2022 2021 Change 2022 2021 Change

Tons mined (millions)

Tons milled (millions)

Production (million pounds Cu)

Sales (million pounds Cu)

22.3 24.9 (2.6) 42.6 56.9 (14.3)
7.7 7.2 0.5 14.7 14.4 0.3
20.7 26.8 (6.1) 42.0 49.0 (7.0)
21.7 26.7 (5.0) 49.1 48.7 0.4

 

Financial Data Three months ended June 30, Six months ended June 30,
(Cdn$ in thousands, except for per share amounts) 2022 2021 Change 2022 2021 Change
Revenues 82,944 111,002 (28,058) 201,277 197,743 3,534
Earnings from mining operations before depletion
and amortization* 7,221 54,482 (47,261) 49,994 84,795 (34,801)
Cash flows provided by operations 18,344 72,502 (54,158) 70,097 69,219 878
Adjusted EBITDA* 1,684 47,732 (46,048) 39,823 71,454 (31,631)
Adjusted net income (loss)* (16,098) 9,948 (26,046) (9,936) 4,414 (14,350)
Per share – basic (“adjusted EPS”)* (0.06) 0.04 (0.10) (0.03) 0.02 (0.05)
Net income (loss) (GAAP) (5,274) 13,442 (18,716) (179) 2,225 (2,404)
Per share – basic (“EPS”) (0.02) 0.05 (0.07) 0.01 (0.01)

REVIEW OF OPERATIONS

Gibraltar mine (75% Owned)

Operating data (100% basis) Q2 2022 Q1 2022 Q4 2021 Q3 2021 Q2 2021
Tons mined (millions) 22.3 20.3 23.3 25.2 24.9
Tons milled (millions) 7.7 7.0 7.4 7.4 7.2
Strip ratio 2.8 2.6 2.2 1.3 2.3
Site operating cost per ton milled (Cdn$)* $11.13 $11.33 $9.94 $8.99 $9.16
Copper concentrate
Head grade (%) 0.17 0.19 0.24 0.28 0.22
Copper recovery (%) 77.3 80.2 80.4 84.2 83.3
Production (million pounds Cu) 20.7 21.4 28.8 34.5 26.8
Sales (million pounds Cu) 21.7 27.4 23.8 32.4 26.7
Inventory (million pounds Cu) 2.7 4.0 9.9 4.9 3.5
Molybdenum concentrate
Production (thousand pounds Mo) 199 236 450 571 402
Sales (thousand pounds Mo) 210 229 491 502 455
Per unit data (US$ per pound produced)*
Site operating costs* $3.25 $2.95 $2.02 $1.53 $2.02
By-product credits* (0.15) (0.18) (0.30) (0.25) (0.25)
Site operating costs, net of by-product credits* $3.10 $2.77 $1.72 $1.28 $1.77
Off-property costs 0.37 0.36 0.22 0.29 0.25
Total operating costs (C1)* $3.47 $3.13 $1.94 $1.57 $2.02

Second Quarter Review

Gibraltar produced 20.7 million pounds of copper for the quarter. Head grades averaged 0.17% in the quarter which was lower than expected due to the complexity of the ore in the upper benches of the Gibraltar pit which resulted in higher than normal mining dilution. Ore grades are expected to improve for the remainder of the year as mining progresses deeper into the Gibraltar pit where ore zones are more consistent and less complex in nature.

A total of 22.3 million tons were mined in the second quarter with the decrease from 2021 rates due to longer haul distances in the current phase of mining. Mill throughput improved over the prior quarters due to the softer Gibraltar ore in line with expectations.

The strip ratio of 2.8 was inline with the average for the Gibraltar pit and the prior quarter. Ore stockpiles also decreased by 1.8 million tons in the second quarter to supplement mill feed from the mine in accordance with the mine plan.

Total site costs* at Gibraltar of $76.1 million (which includes capitalized stripping of $11.9 million) for Taseko’s 75% share was generally consistent with the first quarter but was $11.6 million higher than the same quarter last year due to higher diesel costs with diesel prices nearly 70% higher than 2021 and with some other input costs increasing including grinding media used in the mill.

Read More: https://www.tasekomines.com/assets/docs/Taseko-Q2-2022Earnings-Release.pdf

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