Officials at Canada’s top diversified miner, Teck Resources Ltd., have announced the elimination of 600 jobs worldwide to cut costs amid falling commodity demands. The resumption of Quintette coal mine operations in British Columbia will also be delayed, they added, although their Pend Oreille zinc asset will restart.
In all, the Vancouver-based miner plans trimming its workforce by 5% through attrition, hiring freezes and reductions in contractors, according to a statement. Combined with other reductions, officials added, the job cuts will save about $182 million.
Teck, also one of the world’s leading exporters of seaborne met coal, has also been seeking to cost cuts since Q2 2012 amid slackening growth on the Chinese mainland. “We are increasing our efforts on reducing costs and spending to ensure competitiveness from the current price cycle,” the company said.
Capital costs to restart Washington’s Pend Oreille have been estimated at $41 million and Teck representatives are expecting full capacity to be under way by Q2 2015. The mine, idled since 2009, can produce 44,000 tons of zinc concentrate annually with mine life until 2024. The Quintette mine will be kept under maintenance pending improved demands for met coal; it was first idled in 2000.
Officials at Teck, which also produces copper and molybdenum, seek to reduce annual costs, while reducing 2014 capital spending by about $95.3 million to $1.6 billion amid weak prices, having curtaliled annual expenses by $313 million to date. Coal production, nonetheless, rose 8% to 6.7 million tons in Q1 2014, while output rose 2.4% to 85,000 tons as zinc-in-concentrate production rose 11% to 163,000 tons.