The offices of Taseko Mines Ltd. are pictured in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday November 25, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Taseko Mines to increase its stake in the Gibraltar copper mine

$60 million investment planned for open pit copper mine near McLeese Lake

Taseko Mines Ltd. says it has signed a deal to increase its stake in its Gibraltar copper mine in B.C. in an agreement worth at least $60 million.

Under the terms of the deal, Taseko will acquire Sojitz Corp.’s 50 per cent stake in Cariboo Copper Corp. which holds a 25 per cent stake in the mine.

Cariboo’s other shareholders are Dowa Metals & Mining Co. Ltd with 25 per cent and Furukawa Co. Ltd. with 25 per cent.

The acquisition will give Taseko, which already owns a 75 per cent stake in Gibraltar, an effective 87.5 per cent interest.

In exchange for Sojitz’s stake, Taseko has agreed to make an initial minimum payment of $10 million due on closing and annual payments of $10 million over the next five years.

The company will also make contingent payments for five years depending on the average copper price. The total contingent payments cannot exceed $57 million over the five-year period.

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