Canadian miner Teck Resources has projected copper production from its four mines at 275,000-290,000mt in 2021, led by an expected increase in production at its Highland Valley Copper and Antamina mines.
Production of the red metal is expected to gradually rise to 275,000-315,000mt between 2022-2024 from its actual output of around 276,000mt in 2020.
The company’s zinc production is projected at 585,000mt-610,000mt in 2021 against actual production of 587,000mt in 2020 before rising to 590,000-650,000mt in 2022-2024, the company indicated in its 2020 earnings report.
Teck’s coking coal output, which stood at 21.1mn mt in 2020 is expected to increase to 25.5-26.5mn mt this year and rise to 26-27mn mt over the next three years. Lead production from its Red Dog mine, however, will decline from 97,500mt in 2020 to 85,000-95,000mt in 2021 and then fall again to 80,000-90,000mt in the 2022-2024 period.
The company also decreased its zinc sales guidance for Q1 2021 to 90,000-100,000mt from its actual zinc sales of 149,000mt in Q4 2020. Its guidance for steelmaking coal sales in this quarter, however, remains unchanged to slightly up at 5.9-6.3mn mt from 6.1mn mt achieved in sales in Q4 2021.
Giving an update on its Quebrada Blanca 2 copper project in Peru which was stalled for most of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Teck noted that the project’s construction was going as planned. According to Don Lindsay, president and chief executive officer, Teck, the company had achieved its target of completing 40pc of the project.
The increase in copper prices since the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2020 also helped the company increase its revenue from copper sales during the quarter, Lindsay observed. In 2020 cash costs for copper averaged $1.57/lb. The company increased its guidance in this category to $1.65-1.75/lb for this year.
The company’s consolidated revenue in 2020 fell to C$8.9bn ($7.04bn) from C$11.93bn in 2019 and fell slightly to C$2.56bn in Q4 2020 from C$2.65bn during the same quarter of the previous year. Its adjusted EBITDA in 2020 fell to C$2.5bn from C$4.4bn but rose in Q4 2020 to C$839mn from C$785mn in Q4 2019.