Taseko Mines Ltd. is a British Columbia-based mining company. The company’s main assets are its Gibraltar copper-molybdenum mine, the Prosperity gold-copper project, the Harmony gold project and the early stage Aley niobium project.

The company announced yesterday that it had signed a letter of intent with Sojitz Corporation to establish by early 2010 a joint venture over Taseko’s Gibraltar copper/molybdenum mine. The terms of the deal require that Sojitz pay Taseko $180 million for a 25% interest in the mine. Taseko will continue to operate the mine.

Sojitz is one of the large Japanese “trading houses”, a conglomerate with interests in the machinery, energy, metals, chemicals and consumer products industries. Sojitz has already made a number of investments into the British Columbia mining industry.

Taseko Mines was pleased to partner with this world-class Japanese company with global trade capabilities. Taseko CEO Russell Hallbauer commented on the deal, “The formation of this joint venture with a prominent Japanese company is an important step for Taseko, advancing our business plan that includes establishing strategic alliances…and underscores the importance of having this long life asset.”

Mr. Hallbauer continued, “This transaction also represents a major advancement of plans to develop our 100%-owned Prosperity gold/copper project. With the closing of this transaction, we will have a significant portion of the equity requirement for the construction of a new mine at the Prosperity property.”