Taseko Mines to acquire Curis Resources and Florence copper project
Taseko Mines announced that it will acquire Curis Resources and its copper project in Florence, AZ.
Curis has held the property in Florence since 2009 and is working to develop an in-situ copper recovery and solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) project there.
Taseko and Curis are affiliates of Canadian mining giant Hunter Dickinson, The Arizona Republic reported.
The deal, which could close next month pending shareholder and other approvals, would give each Curis shareholder 0.438 of a Taseko common share for each Curis common share held.
"Both the Taseko board and Curis Resources board voted unanimously for the deal," said Rita Maguire, executive vice president and general counsel for Curis. "That speaks volumes to the confidence Taseko's board has in the project."
Taseko previously invested in Curis and holds about 13 million shares, she said.
The Florence Copper Project proposes an in-situ mine and is awaiting approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin test mining half of the copper ore sitting under in Florence, and could hear from the agency this fall.
Already Curis won approval from the state Department of Environmental Quality for the project, but is fighting a challenge to that permit from nearby developers hoping to build houses around the area that will be mined.
Separately, Curis is fighting a condemnation proceeding by Florence on the land atop the other half of the copper ore it hopes to mine. The company has said that it will mine only the ore under state land if unsuccessful in its legal challenges with the town.
Maguire said Taseko officials are confident the project will move forward.
Taseko's primary project is its 75 percent ownership of the Gibraltar copper-molybdenum mine in British Columbia, the second largest open pit copper mine in Canada.
"Florence adds diversity to our pipeline of development projects," said Taseko President/CEO Russell Hallbauer in a statement. "There are very few copper projects in secure jurisdictions ... such as Florence, and the timing of anticipated production from the project could be ideal for the next copper price cycle."