Teak flags soar as Quebrada Blanca expands
Teck CEO Don Lindsay cited the challenges of building an “offshore port” and tailings facilities as the main causes of the rising costs, noting that the company will issue updated cost guidelines. investment of the project in February 2022, when the fourth quarter results are published.
Construction of QB2, which was expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of copper equivalent per year for the first five years of its life, was put on hold in March 2020 when the first cases of covid-19 emerged in the South American nation. The miner originally expected the work stoppage to last two weeks, but as the pandemic swept through much of Chile, he was forced to delay the project until August.
In a call with analysts, Lindsay said QB2 remains a key project, as it is expected to double Teck’s copper production by 2023. It is expected to extend the life of the aging field by 28 years and significantly increase production to 300,000 tonnes of copper. per year compared to 23,400 tonnes in 2017.
The Canadian mining giant is is already studying a Phase 3 for the mine, which will double its capacity to 600,000 tonnes of copper per year. The potential extension will make the mine the second largest copper operation in Chile, after Escondida. It will also place Quebrada Blanca among the top five copper mines in the world.
In terms of costs, Phase 3 would require an investment of $ 5 billion, as it is expected to include the installation of a new concentrator.
Copper is one of Teck’s four business units, in addition to the iron and steel industry, coal, petroleum and zinc, and is considered a priority for the company.
Lindsay and members of the management team are hosting a virtual tour of the QB2 site on November 1, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST.