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Teck increases copper production with QB ramp-up

The QB mine in Chile is ramping up.

The QB mine in Chile is ramping up.

25th April 2024

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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Canadian mining group Teck Resources has increased its copper production by 74% to 99 000 t in the first quarter, as output increased at the newly-built QB mine, in Chile.

The Antamina mine, in Peru, and Highland Valley Copper mine, in Canada, also had a strong performance, Teck reported on Thursday.

The QB mine, where all major construction work was completed in the quarter under review, produced 43 300 t. CEO Jonathan Price said QB had successfully loaded its first vessel using the newly completed shiploader.

Teck is forecasting copper production of between 465 000 t and 540 000 t at a net cash cost of between $1.85/lb and $2.25/lb.

Further, Price said that Teck had a “strong” first-quarter performance across its business, generating adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $1.7-billion.

The Ebitda was driven by strong prices for steelmaking coal and copper, partly offset by lower zinc prices and lower steelmaking coal sales volumes. Profit from continuing operations before taxes was $741-million in the first quarter.

Zinc in concentrate production increased by 10% to 159 800 t in the first quarter, with higher output from Red Dog, in Alaska, offset by lower zinc production from Antamina. The company noted that decrease in production at Antamina was expected in the mine plan, as the composition of the ore mix moved to a higher copper-only content.

The steelmaking coal production in the first quarter was 6-million tonnes, the same as a year ago. Production was impacted by an extreme freezing event in mid-January, which resulted in frozen plant components and unplanned downtime.

First quarter steelmaking coal sales were 5.9-million tonnes compared with 6.2-million tonnes in the first quarter last year, and within the guidance range of 5.9-million to 6.3-million tonnes.

The Teck steelmaking coal business unit generated $1.4-billion in gross profit before depreciation and amortisation in the first quarter.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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