Investors look to Teck for clues to China’s path – by Pav Jordan and Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – February 4, 2013)

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When Don Lindsay talks about China, he can’t help but mention the 200,000 kilometres of power transmission lines the country plans to install over the next five years.

“That’s a lot of copper,” the president and chief executive of Teck Resources Ltd. told mining aficionados packed into a ballroom in Vancouver last week.

Addressing the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C. conference, Mr. Lindsay also predicted that China will enjoy robust economic growth this year, fuelling demand for the metals his company produces, like copper and zinc.

Teck Resources, Canada’s largest diversified miner and a major exporter of coking coal for steel making, reports its fourth quarter and year-end financial results on Thursday.

The results are expected to compare unfavourably against those of the prior year, reflecting one of the most tumultuous periods for the global mining industry since the recession.

As investors drew back from the market on renewed fears about the U.S. economy and as the European economies slipped and staggered, it was a year marked by multi-billion- dollar write-downs, massive cost overruns and high-level firings at leading mining companies.

Teck was no stranger to the turmoil, announcing deferrals in October of some $1.5-billion in capital spending over the next year or so.

Analysts expect the company to report fourth quarter earnings of around 49 cents a share, down by more than half from a year ago, when it was topping off a year of record performances on many levels.

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