Teck Resources hit by lower coal, copper output in Q3

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Teck Resources Ltd. [TECK.B-TSX; TECK.A-TSX; TECK-NYSE] on Tuesday October 27 reported a 66.6% drop in Q3 adjusted profit as production of steelmaking coal decreased.

Net adjusted income fell $130 million or $0.24/share in Q3 ended September 30, 2020, from $389 million or 69 cents/share in Q3 2019.

On a more positive note, both of the company’s major growth projects, the Neptune terminal expansion in North Vancouver, British Columbia and the QB2 copper project in Chile continue to advance as planned.

Investors sent Teck shares down 4.6% or 81 cents to $16.79 on volume of over 3.0 million. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $23.20 and $8.15.

The Vancouver based mining giant ranks as the world’s second-largest seaborne exporter of steelmaking coal, with six operations in Western Canada and significant steelmaking coal reserves.

Steelmaking coal – or metallurgical coal – is a higher-grade coal which is a necessary component in the chemical reactions that transform iron into steel.

The company was hit by a weaker operating performance at its coal and copper operations during Q3. During the quarter, the company posted coal sales of 5.1 million tonnes, (down from 6.5 million tonnes a year ago) which was near the low end of its 5.0-5.4 million tonne guidance. Realized coal price in Q3 was US$102/tonne, a 35% decrease from US$156 in Q3 2019.

The realized price for blended bitumen was also down 27% in the same period to US$33.09/bbl from US$45.26.

Copper production in Q3 fell to 69,000 tonnes from 75,000 tonnes in Q3 2019 due to weaker performance at Highland Valley, British Columbia and Carmen de Andacollo, Chile.

The decrease in production at Carmen de Andacollo was due to lower ore grades, as expected in the mine plan as well as reduced mill throughput caused by longer than anticipated maintenance shutdowns. The decrease at Highland Valley Copper was primarily due to lower mill throughput as a result of processing harder than expected ores.

Zinc in concentrate production fell to 160,000 tonnes in Q3 from 172,000 tonnes a year earlier. Meanwhile, Teck is forecasting coal sales of 5.8-6.2 million tonnes in Q4 2020.

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