Teck Resources Ltd. launched a sweeping restructuring on Tuesday by announcing plans to spin off its coal business and end the founding Keevil family’s six-decade run at the helm of the country’s largest base metals miner.
Vancouver-based Teck is asking shareholders to approve hiving off its steelmaking coal mines in British Columbia into a new company called Elk Valley Resources Ltd. Teck valued its offspring at $11.5-billion and will list Elk Valley on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The parent will focus on increasing copper production at mines in North and South America, and be renamed Teck Metals Corp.
“Our goal is to create two great, sustainable companies, set up for success,” Teck chief executive Jonathan Price said in an interview. Teck spent several years reviewing its strategy, a process that included talks on selling the coal division.
Mr. Price said the two businesses have “very different fundamentals,” with stable but relatively flat demand for coal from steelmakers, while the move to decarbonize the economy translates into an “extreme increase in demand for copper, and a need for new copper mines.”
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