Over the past month, the headlines in the news have been consumed with information about the worldwide health crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus, plummeting oil and commodity prices and the economic challenges being created as a result.
On March 9, 2020 the U.S. stock market saw its biggest sell off since the 1987 crash. This triggered a market wide trading halt in the United States – a very rare occurrence that illustrates some of the economic uncertainties the world is facing.
Many of the Taseko and Gibraltar management team have been through similar uncertain and turbulent economic times and tough commodity markets.
It is because of management’s experience, careful planning and forecasting, that Gibraltar Mine continues to operate even during hard times, such as what we are experiencing today.
Built in 1972, Gibraltar Mine was originally designed to process 36,000 tons of ore per day, producing approximately 60-million pounds of copper annually.
Because of a $700-million multi-phase program of revitalization, Gibraltar is now a state-of-the-art facility with an average annual production of 135-million pounds per year. Gibraltar will deliver billions of dollars in social and economic value to Canadians for the next 20 plus years.
It will infuse the economy with long-term, high-paying jobs, promote significant growth in local business, and it will supply government with revenues that will support vital social programming.
Our commitment and positive impact to the Cariboo region is something we are proud to deliver.
Of the 700 men and women that work at Gibraltar, 96 per cent of the wages are paid to those living in Williams Lake, Quesnel, and 100 Mile House.
In 2019, Gibraltar provided $75.4-million in total annual wages; in which, $71.7-million went directly to Cariboo residents. In addition, in 2019, Taseko-Gibraltar purchased approximately $121.9-million in supplies and services from the BC Interior/Cariboo region.
Despite the volatility caused by global events, Taseko and Gibraltar remain positioned to operate successfully and deliver social and economic value to the people of the Cariboo and British Columbia for years to come. Richard Tremblay is vice president, Mining Operations, Taseko Mines Limited.