On a warm afternoon in early September in London, Bernard Looney, the boss of BP, one of the world’s top oil companies, and a colleague sat down on wooden bench in St. James’s Square park, a patch of green Georgian loveliness near Buckingham Palace. They were enjoying the sunshine.
Moments later, another chief executive, Jonathan Price of Teck Resources Ltd. Canada’s biggest diversified mining company, strolled into the small park, where a Globe and Mail photographer was waiting to take photos of him, and found himself next to Mr. Looney. The two men, who both have offices overlooking the park, greeted each other and shook hands for the first time.
Mr. Looney noted Mr. Price’s robust defence of Teck, which has been the object of desire of aggressive Swiss commodities giant Glencore PLC since April, when it launched a US$23-billion takeover bid for the Canadian copper, zinc and coal producer. “Carry on,” he told Mr. Price, who nodded and smiled.
Mr. Price will carry on, though his quest to make Teck a big-name player in the global supply chain of “critical” metals – notably copper, a key material used in electric-vehicle (EV) batteries and electricity transmission systems – is in its early stages, fraught with risks, and will require one of the industry’s costliest series of mine openings, most of them in far-flung countries.
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