Teck doubles down on Chile copper mine investment with an eye on electric vehicle demand – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – April 6, 2018)


Vancouver’s Teck Resources is buying out a minority partner in a major copper project in Chile at a cost that could reach as high as $262.5 million.

The total price tag, however, will depend on copper prices — often considered a barometer for global macroeconomic growth because it is used in so many products — and which at the moment are sliding as the U.S. and China slap tariffs on one another, and fears of a trade war escalate.

“A company’s decision to build or not build (a mine) — these are long term forward-looking decisions,” said Alex Terentiew, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets who monitors Teck.

Terentiew said copper prices, which stood around US$3.06 per pound on Thursday, are not dropping off in a worrying way. In a note, he forecast a “skew of risk to the upside” for copper prices, based on a growing need in China for concentrates.

Under the deal announced on Wednesday, Teck increases its stake in Quebrada Blanca Phase 2: an open pit copper mine in northern Chile’s high desert expected to produce 300,000 tons of copper per year for its first five years.

For the rest of this article: http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/mining/teck-doubles-down-on-chile-copper-mine-investment-with-an-eye-on-electric-vehicle-demand