Even though revenues and profits were down, Teck officials voiced enthusiasm about operations and increasing demand in its latest quarterly statement. “We had record throughput at three of our mines (and) implemented $360 million in savings,” said CEO Don Lindsay.
Teck Resources representatives have reported “significant” production records in 2013 and Q4, including record annual coal sales of 26.9 million metric tons (mt) and quarterly copper production of 105,000 mt.
“We exceeded targets for the year and our coal and zinc production both rose by 4%,” said Lindsay. “Copper was lower by 2% due to lower ore grades, offset by mill throughput increases at most of our mines.”
Officials cited increased global steel production as fueling coal output at their Greenhills project in British Columbia, along with record annual copper throughput at Antamina in Peru and Carmen de Andacollo in Chile; Alaska’s Red Dog complex was reported bolstering zinc.
At Highland Valley Copper in Canada, meanwhile, Teck reported mill optimization as having achieved “substantial” mechanical completion in Q4, alongside the commissioning of a new flotation facility now under way.
Copper production in 2014 is expected to be 340,000, lower than last year’s 364,000 mt, Antamina will increase production after 2014 as grades improve; alongside higher Highland Valley Copper production, they added, this will offset declines from Duck Pond’s closure and lower grades at Quebrada Blanca and Carmen de Andacollo.
Coal production in 2014, meanwhile, is expected at up to 27 million mt with plans for a significant increase in waste haul distances. Zinc production in 2014 is forecast up to 585,000 mt compared with 623,000 mt in 2013 as Red Dog production may decrease by 25,000 mt, and Antamina is expected to decline by 15,000 mt. Refined zinc production from the Trail metallurgical complex, meanwhile, is expected up to 290,000 mt compared with last year’s 290,000 mt.