December 2, 2015 / 10:05 PM / 3 years ago

Miner Teck says could monetize assets to raise cash if needed

TORONTO (Reuters) - Diversified Canadian miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO said Wednesday it has already made sharp cuts in response to an extended commodities slump but if conditions worsen it could consider capitalizing assets worth up to $1 billion.

The Vancouver-based company said at a mining conference on Wednesday that it currently has adequate liquidity and does not need to pursue any asset sales or “streaming” deals, in which mining finance companies provide upfront funds in exchange for a portion of future mine production.

But in response to an audience question, Chief Financial Officer Ron Millos said infrastructure funds could potentially be interested in Teck’s share of assets such as the Wintering Hills wind turbines, the Waneta dam, Neptune Terminals and water treatment plants at Elk Valley.

Teck could also consider selling projects that it is not developing due to current low metals prices, such as the San Nicolas copper project, Millos said.

“All of that, all in, could we raise a $1 billion?,” Millos said. “Maybe, maybe not.”

Teck, which agreed in October to sell future silver production from a mine in Peru, said it could consider smaller streaming deals for silver from its Red Dog zinc mine and silver and gold from its Highland Valley copper operations.

“That is a lever we can pull,” Millos said during the presentation at the Goldman Sachs metals and mining conference.

Teck plans to cut 1,000 jobs and reduce total 2016 spending by $650 million, through a $350 million cut to capital spending and $300 million reduction in operating costs.

Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Andrew Hay

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