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Province approves 25-year lease for gold and copper mine

VANCOUVER - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX:TKO) says it has received approval from the B.C. government for a 25-year mining lease on the Prosperity gold and copper project in the B.C. Interior, a step towards developing the land.

Shares of the company lifted 14 cents to $5.23 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Wednesday afternoon trading.

"Converting the Prosperity mineral claims to a mining lease is another important milestone in the development," said president and CEO Russell Hallbauer in a release.

"The mining lease represents a direct interest in land and is the highest attainable form of mineral ownership rights associated with publicly-owned crown land in British Columbia."

In May, Franco-Nevada agreed to acquire 22 per cent of the gold produced at the Prosperity. The agreement, along with a recent asset sale, will give Prosperity about 80 per cent of the money it needs to build Prosperity, it said.

Taseko said it is also preparing other permit applications and requirements, including the Mines Act Permit which would greenlight a mine plan and authorize the company to proceed with the construction and operation of the mine.

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