Teck Resources logs $536M loss in Q4 on depressed commodities, asset charge

Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B, TCK.A)(NYSE:TCK), Canada’s largest diversified miner, logged Thursday a loss of $459 million in its fourth quarter, hurt by an ongoing rout in commodity prices and an asset impairment charge of $384 million (Cdn$536 million).

The Vancouver-based company, North America’s largest producer of steel-making coal, was hit extremely hard by a plunge in that and other commodities, including copper and zinc, which declined between 11% to 20% last year, compared with 2014, amid concerns about growth in China.

The loss includes a Cdn$598 million impairment charge on its Fort Hills oil sands project in Alberta.

Prices for coking coal have dropped as much as 40% compared with levels reached during the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Low oil prices, however, have benefitted some of Teck’s endeavours as the firm uses diesel at its mining operations.

The miner took Cdn$736 million of pre-tax writedowns in the quarter, including Cdn$598 million on its Fort Hills oil sands project in Alberta, Cdn$45 million on its metallurgical coal assets and $93 million on copper assets.

As of February 10, the company had a cash balance of $1.8 billion and $3 billion available under a revolving credit facility that matures in 2020, Teck said in Thursday’s statement.

Assuming present commodities prices and exchange rates stay the same, there are no unusual events, and the company meets its guidance, it should end 2016 with at least $500 million in cash and no material change in its US dollar debt level, it added.