The Florence SxEw is an in-situ leach project and, as such, it employs a relatively new technology to produce copper cathode. Apart from the technical challenges to develop the project, Florence has to overcome urban zoning issues. A production test facility (PTF) is due for completion in 2018, and will operate for a year prior to planned construction of the commercial facility.
The Florence SxEw is an in-situ leach project and, as such, it will employ a relatively new technology to produce copper cathode.
Apart from the technical challenges involved in developing the project, Florence has to overcome urban zoning issues. Although Taseko has property rights over 100% of the area of the deposit, the deposit is partly located within the town of Florence and defined as an urban area. Due to this zoning, industrial activities may not be carried out in some 58% of the deposit.
In September 2017, the company announced that the Environmental Appeals Board had ruled that no further review of the 2016 Underground Injection Permit could take place. Board approval for construction of the Production Test Facility (PTF) was subsequently granted, with construction to begin immediately. The wellfield drilling was completed in April 2018, and first copper cathode is expected during December 2018.
The test facility is expected to operate for a year, during which the company intends to continue advancing the commercial operation. Progress in permitting and construction of the full-scale commercial facility is likely to be contingent upon the outcome of the PTF operation.