Column: Gibraltar award well deserved

Recently, Taseko’s Gibraltar mine earned the “Mineral Processor of the Year” Award from the Canadian Mineral Processors.

Recently, Taseko’s Gibraltar mine earned the “Mineral Processor of the Year” Award from the Canadian Mineral Processors.

Taseko was given the award for its excellence by increasing production while lowering costs through a $700 Million investment in a modernization project. Reducing costs means Taseko can remain open, while other companies must slow down production, or shut down altogether.

Despite commodity prices like oil, silver, nickel and copper going down the last few years, Taseko has proven itself to be dedicated towards lowering production costs. This means generating higher profits, which in turn helps to ensure it has a fighting chance on remaining operational in times of austerity.

This is truly remarkable in the field of mining, especially when the competition abroad is very tight.

This is especially good news for William’s Lake, Quesnel, and 100 Mile House, where the majority of the 650 employees call home.

Taseko prioritizes safety for its employees, the Gibraltar mine recently achieved the landmark of having zero time loss incidents in 2014 – a total of 1,711,467 person hours without a breech in employee safety.

Last year, Taseko-Gibraltar was awarded the “Mining and Sustainability Award” for their commitment to responsible development and continuous improvement at all levels of operation including First Nations engagement, environmental stewardship, operational efficiencies, and health and safety standards.

It is companies like Taseko that help keep British Columbia’s rural communities economically strong while providing families with jobs and a network of support.

The award, “Mineral Processor of the Year”, is given out sparingly, as only one award in its field can be given out per year when circumstances warrant.

So, I congratulate Taseko and all of its hard-working employees for this tremendous award. You’ve earned it!

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.