The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit for Taseko Mines’ Florence Copper Project, near Florence, Ariz. The EPA has stated that the public comment period for the draft federal permit will last 45 days, ending on September 29, with a virtual public hearing to be held on September 15.

“The UIC permit is the final key permit required for the construction and operation of the Florence Copper commercial facility,” said Stuart McDonald, president and CEO, Taseko Mines Ltd. “Our project has gone through extensive scrutiny by both the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA over the past eight years and we are confident that the rigorous work completed by both these regulatory bodies will result in permitting success in the coming months.”

Florence Copper is expected to have the lowest energy and greenhouse gas-intensity (GHG) of any copper producer in North America. It will also reduce U.S. reliance on foreign producers for a metal considered to be critical for the transition to a low-carbon economy.