Currently low copper prices are not impacting production at Gibraltar Mine just north of Williams Lake, said Taseko Mines Ltd. vice-president of corporate affairs Brian Battison.
“These copper prices are not especially low for our operation,” Battison told the Tribune.
On Tuesday,copper prices were hovering at $2.65 a pound U.S.
“Gibraltar was an old worn out facility that had to close during low copper prices. We changed all of that when we invested $700 million and made it a brand new mine with all efficient electrical motors.”
He described the mine as one of the most competitive low-grade mining facilities in the world.
“We have a very robust competitive low-cost producer that’s able to endure lower copper prices and that previously was not the case with that mine.”
Outlining copper prices in the last five years according to KITCO, Battison said they were as high as $3.40 U.S. in 2014 and a low as $2 U.S. in November 2015.
“Copper always cycles. It’s not at its highest right now but it’s not at its lowest. It’s been bouncing between $2.60 and $2.70 the last few months.”
Low copper prices are sometimes offset by a weak Canadian dollar, he added.
“Our costs are in Canadian dollars but we get paid in U.S. dollars so when there’s a weak Canadian dollar it’s good for copper producers in Canada and all manufacturers that sell their goods in U.S. dollars.”
There are approximately 700 people working at Gibraltar Mine.