Teck Resources suspends 2020 forecasts, cuts steelmaking coal output

FILE PHOTO: Visitors pass a sign of sponsor Teck Resources at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 1, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) - Miner Teck Resources Ltd TECKb.TO suspended its 2020 financial forecasts on Wednesday and said it expected steelmaking coal production to drop to about 80-85% of normal levels in an initial two-week slowdown from March 25 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Canadian miner also said, however, steelmaking coal sales for the first quarter are estimated at 5.6 million tonnes, exceeding the company’s previous outlook of 4.8 million to 5.2 million tonnes.

The company said it would temporarily slow down operations and reduce staff by up to 50% at its steelmaking coal and Highland Valley Copper mine in British Columbia as part of moves to ensure safety in the virus outbreak.

All employees available for work during the lockdown period would be given regular wages, Teck Resources said, adding that it expects mine site clean coal inventories to be drawn down in order to support sales.

Project construction activities at the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 project in Chile are still on hold, the company said.

Reporting by Shubham Kalia and Philip George in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Patrick Graham