April 6 (Reuters) - Mineral exploration company Taseko Mines Ltd posted a 33 percent increase in copper production at its Gibraltar mine in British Columbia in the first quarter, helped by recently upgraded concentrator components and circuits.
For the first quarter, the company produced 23.2 million pounds of copper and 194,000 pounds of molybdenum.
Copper grade for the quarter was about 10 percent above life-of-mine average grade, Taseko said in a statement.
"In approximately six months, major construction projects will be complete and the targeted annual production level of 115 million pounds of copper will soon follow," Chief Executive Russell Hallbauer said in a statement.
Taseko, whose assets include the Gibraltar copper-molybdenum mine and the Prosperity gold-copper project, had earlier said it sees 2010 production to exceed 80 million pounds.
Shares of the Vancouver-based company closed at C$5.44 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.