Teck Resources profits up 247% thanks to copper boom
Teck Resources, Canada’s largest diversified miner, has seen its Q1 profits ramp thanks to the spike in copper prices to record highs driven by global net zero pledges and Covid vaccine rollouts.
“Strong first quarter operational performance, in line with plan, and higher commodity prices contributed to a very solid start to 2021,” said Don Lindsay, President and CEO. “We achieved major milestones for our priority projects, including surpassing the half-way point at our flagship QB2 copper growth project and moving into the commissioning phase of our Neptune steelmaking coal terminal upgrade. We remain absolutely focused on implementing the necessary protocols to mitigate transmission of Covid-19 and protect the health and safety of our people and local communities.”
- Adjusted profit attributable to shareholders1 of $326mn or $0.61 per share in Q1 2021, an increase of 247% compared to the same period last year.
- Adjusted EBITDA1 of $967mn in Q1 2021, an increase of 59% compared to the same period last year.
- Overall QB2 project progress surpassed the half-way point in April.
- Our Neptune port upgrade is now in the commissioning phase and ramp-up will continue as planned. To date 18 vessels have been loaded using the new outbound system.
- Our operations continue to be resilient despite ongoing challenges associated with Covid-19, with production in line with plan across our business units and sales meeting our Q1 2021 guidance.
- Our copper business unit had a strong Q1 2021 with an increase in gross profit before depreciation and amortization1 of 76% compared to the same period last year, supported by an average realized copper price of $3.92 per pound and copper production of 71,700 tonnes, in line with plan.
- Sales of steelmaking coal were 6.2 million tonnes in Q1 2021, with approximately 2 million tonnes sold to Chinese customers based on CFR China prices, which were significantly higher than FOB Australia prices.
- Teck Coal Limited has resolved Fisheries Act charges in connection with discharges of selenium and calcite from our steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley of British Columbia in 2012.
- The Elkview Saturated Rock Fill (SRF) was successfully commissioned in Q1 2021, on schedule and below budget. The SRF is now treating and reducing selenium and nitrate and improving water quality in the receiving environment.
- Liquidity of $6.3bn as at April 27, 2021.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.