The Vancouver-headquartered company said Thursday progress on three main fronts - technical, permitting and financing - had its Florence copper project in Arizona, USA, on track to be construction-ready in the first half of 2020.
CEO Russell Hallbauer said: "Based on previous bench-scale testing, we expected it would take upwards of a year to reach target solution grade, so we are obviously extremely pleased to have achieved this milestone after such a short period of time."
He added the main difference between Florence copper and other leach operations was that Taseko had no mining costs associated with its in-situ leach process, making Florence copper, when in commercial operation, one of the world's lowest-cost operations.
Florence is expected to have cash costs of US$1.10/lb copper.
Taseko also said it had submitted the first of two permit amendment applications that were required for commercial production, with the second to follow in the "coming weeks".
President Stuart McDonald said the company was pursuing "multiple options" to finance the commercial operation. The company wants to have a plan in place in the "coming months", said McDonald.
"Florence copper will transform Taseko into a multi-asset, low-cost copper producer in stable jurisdictions. We will continue to de-risk and steadily move the project towards production in 2021."
Florence will produce on average 85Mlb/y copper, increasing Taseko's attributable yearly copper output to about 190Mlb/y.
The stock (TSX:TKO) gained up to 4.28% or C3c on Thursday to 73c, but closed the day lower at 71c, capitalising the company at $174.7 million. It is up 11% since January.