Canadian company Taseko Mines has secured the final permit for the construction of the Florence copper project in Arizona, US.

The final underground injection control permit for the mine has been issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Taseko president and CEO Stuart McDonald said: “With approvals in place from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and now the EPA, we can commence construction of the Florence Copper commercial production facility.

“With procurement well advanced, the next steps will be the mobilisation of contractors for the wellfield and SX/EW plant construction. We continue to advance discussions with potential lenders and royalty providers for the remainder of the project financing package and expect to have additional commitments in place before construction spending ramps up.”

The Florence copper project is expected to have an annual production capacity of 85 million pounds of copper at $1.13 per pound C1 cash costs. It is expected to have an operational life of 22 years.

McDonald said that the Florence copper project will have a smaller environmental footprint than conventional open-pit or underground mining operations of comparable size.

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Located midway between Phoenix and Tucson near the community of Florence, Arizona, the project is due to be developed in two phases.

The first phase features a production test facility while the second phase will include a commercial facility.