Quebrada Blanca 2: Teck’s ‘first big piece’ to realign its energy goals 

QB2 in Chile is Teck’s most important growth project. (Image courtesy of Teck Resources.)

With the aim of rebalancing its portfolio towards metals needed for the world’s energy transition, Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.A/TECK.B; NYSE: TECK) will look to finish constructing its biggest ever project, the Quebrada Blanca phase 2 (QB2) in Chile, by the end of 2022 and double its copper production. 

In an interview with The Northern Miner, Teck’s COO Red Conger said the project, which had initially faced stoppages due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is nearly 85% complete and described it as a “generational asset” that would be in production for decades.  

“We see this project as a huge transformation for our company,” Conger said. “It’s by far the biggest thing that we have done from a construction standpoint and one of the biggest in the industry.”  

He added: “We have a stated objective strategy to be a large copper producer over the next 10 to 15 years and we have the mineral in the ground to do that – and the team and know-how.”  

Located in Chile’s Región de Tarapacá, about 165 km from the region’s capital city of Iquique, the Quebrada Blanca (QB) deposit’s oxidized top layer was mined by Teck from 1994 to 2018. After mining ceased, the operation shifted its focus to extracting secondary copper from previous leach piles.