Canada’s Teck says its copper projects are immune to potential tax hike in Chile
TORONTO (Reuters) – Teck Resources in Canada sees little risk of tax hikes at Chile’s copper power plant due to a stability deal that protects the massive Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 copper project from the company against higher levies for 15 years, CEO Don Lindsay said Tuesday.
Chile’s lower house this month approved a bill that would sharply increase taxes on copper mining to pay for social programs.
“We trust Chilean institutions,” Lindsay said at the Bank of America Securities Global Metals, Mining & Steel conference on Tuesday,
“The stability agreements have been offered on a transparent and uniform basis under Chilean law and are therefore theoretically not negotiable,” he added.
Teck spokesman Chris Stannell said on Wednesday Lindsay was only referring to tax deals related to Teck’s operations in Chile, rather than the broader sector.
Separately, Vancouver-based Teck has yet to decide whether to restart a sale process for its 80% stake in the Zafranal copper mine in Peru and may seek a partner to build it, Lindsay said.
A similar approach could work in his San Nicolas project in Mexico, he said.
Teak and other miners have benefited from a surge in copper prices due to growing demand in China, which has made these assets more valuable, Lindsay said.
“These projects are now more valuable today than they were before COVID,” he said.
Toronto-listed Teck shares fell as much as 8% on Wednesday, as red metal prices edged down amid inflation fears and the prospect of higher supply.
Reporting by Jeff Lewis Editing by Chris Reese, Bill Berkrot and Cynthia Osterman