Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Canadian miner Teck produced 71,700mt of copper in Q1 2021, similar to the same prior-year quarter period. Zinc output declined by 6pc to 74,000mt from 79,000mt in Q1 2020. Coking coal (CC) production increased by 22pc to 5.9mn mt from 4.9mn mt in the same period.


Teck’s annual production guidance of copper and coking coal for 2021 remains unchanged. For zinc, the company expects an output of 35,000-40,000mt from its Red Dog mine in Q2 2021. It has also forecasted lower zinc sales in the same three-month period. Teck expects sales to normalize by H2 2021 as inventories reach optimum levels.


The annual refined zinc concentrate production is estimated to be in the 300,000-310,000mt range from Teck’s Trail Operations unit due to planned maintenance.


Copper production

The company attributed the rangebound copper production to tight supplies of concentrate that spilled over from last year. Teck’s High Valley and Antamina copper projects produced 5,500mt more this year at 32,600mt and 106,700mt, respectively, due to comparatively lower mill throughput and higher recoveries. Copper production at Carmen de Andacollo was 5,200mt lower at 12,200mt due to low copper grades and mill throughput. The Quebrada Blanca mine produced 400mt fewer copper cathodes this quarter at 2,900mt.


Zinc production

Zinc output during Q1 2021 at Red Dog and Trail declined by 7pc and 6pc to 119,700mt and 73,700mt, respectively. The reduced production was because of inferior grades. Lead output was up 11pc at Red Dog and 3pc at Trail during the same three-month period.



Teck’s copper sales grossed C$366mn ($296.8mn) in revenue in the first quarter compared to C$156mn last year, even though volumes sold were 8pc lower at 67,000mt from 73,000mt in the previous year. The company attributes higher profits to increased copper prices and a stronger Canadian dollar. 


The revenue from zinc sales also increased from C$119mn in the first quarter of last year to C$125mn this year. However, in terms of sales volume, the company sold 13pc less refined zinc and 29pc less zinc concentrate.


Teck’s revenue from coking coal sales fell to C$196mn in this quarter compared to C$246mn in the same quarter last year, even though volumes were 9pc higher. Declined profits were an outcome of reduced prices of the raw material.



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