Teck profit falls on lower coal prices, drop in copper output

Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:57am EDT
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(Reuters) - Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO reported a 68.5 percent drop in quarterly earnings on Wednesday, hurt by lower prices for steelmaking coal and a fall in copper production.

But the company, which is also one of the world's biggest producers of zinc, raised its full-year production forecast for the metal for the second time this year due to the strong performance of its Red Dog mine in Alaska and growing demand from the auto industry in the United States and China.

Vancouver-based Teck said it now expected to produce 615,000-630,000 tonnes of zinc in 2014, up from its previous forecast of 600,000-615,000 tonnes issued in July. The company had originally forecast production of 555,000-585,000 tonnes.

Teck, the world's second-largest exporter of sea-borne steel-making coal, said average realized prices for coal fell 21 percent to $110 per metric ton (1.1023 tons) in the third quarter ended Sept 30.

The company said it would supply most customers at $119 per metric ton for the highest quality coal in the current quarter.

Coal prices are the lowest since 2007 due to oversupply and weak Chinese demand, and several U.S. and Australian producers have closed mines.

Teck said it expected coal sales "at or above" 6.5 million tonnes in the current quarter. The company sold 6.7 million tonnes in the third quarter.

Copper output fell 14.2 percent to 78,000 tonnes in the quarter, mainly due to a drop in grades at the company's Antamina mine in Peru and unexpected mill downtime at the Carmen de Andacollo mine in Chile.

On an adjusted basis, Teck earned 28 Canadian cents per share, down from 44 Canadian cents in the year-earlier quarter.   Continued...