Taseko Mines (TSX: TKO) has partnered with Mitsui to develop the Florence copper project located in Arizona. Mitsui has committed an initial investment of $50 million for the construction of the commercial production facility. This initial investment will be in the form of a stream agreement on 2.67% of the copper produced at Florence.
As part of the arrangement, Taseko and Mitsui have entered into an offtake contract for 81% of the copper cathode produced at Florence during the initial years of production.
The parties intend to use this period to develop premium sales channels for ‘green copper’ in the United States, leveraging Mitsui’s existing US cathode trading business and the unique environmental benefits of Florence Copper, which is expected to be the lowest carbon and energy intensity copper producer in North America.
In addition, Mitsui has the option to invest an additional $50 million for a 10% equity interest in Florence Copper. The equity option is exercisable by Mitsui within a three-year period following completion of the commercial production facility. If Mitsui elects to exercise its equity option the copper stream will terminate.
Sayu Ueno, president and CEO of Mitsui (USA), said: “We are excited to partner with Taseko and its unique, low-carbon and low-impact Florence Copper project. When in production, Florence Copper will significantly expand our US cathode trading business, while providing an environmentally sound, domestically produced product that can be marketed on the basis of its low-carbon advantages.
“We believe Florence Copper will be a preferred source of ‘made-in-the-US’ copper for many end users in North America,” he added.
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