Taseko-Gibraltar Mine were the recipient of a prestigious award recently.
A full house of people gathered at the Signal Point Banquet Room Tuesday evening to celebrate Gibraltar Mine winning a 2013 Mining and Sustainability Award.
It was a joint award presented on behalf of both the Province of British Columbia and Mining Association of British Columbia.
“The three main criteria for this award are economic, social and environmental contributions or impacts of the mine,” explained Taseko Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, Brian Battison.
Gibraltar Mine opened in 1971 but was forced to close due to low copper prices in the late 1990s.
Taseko then acquired Gibraltar from the previous owners and kept the McLeese Lake area property in a care and maintenance stage for five years before re-opening in 2004. Battison described how due to changes to Gibraltar, the mine will no longer have to shutdown even if copper prices were to plummet again in the future.
“Since we took over in 2004 Taseko have invested $700 million in Gibraltar Mine. “Much of that investment has gone into changing the mine from a very high cost to a much lower cost operation,” said Battison.
“What this means is that if there’s ever a period of poor copper prices the mine can stay open and this project will continually provide economic value to the region and things like job security.”
A major part of Gibraltar’s mandate and strategy was to lower the overhead cost of running the mine and improve efficiency, which Battison believes they have succeeded in doing.