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Teck says Elkview outage to cost 1.5 million tonnes in coal production

Elkview is one of Teck’s main steelmaking coal operations. (Image courtesy of Teck Resources.)

Canada’s largest diversified miner Teck Resources (TSX: TCK.A, TCK.B) (NYSE: TCK) said on Wednesday it expects to lose coal production of about 1.5 million tonnes due to a structural failure at its Elkview coal mine in British Columbia.

The Elkview steelmaking coal mine will remain halted for one to two months, Teck noted, while repairs to the plant feed conveyor belt take place.

When also factoring in the impact of recent labour action at Westshore Terminals, Canada’s biggest export coal terminal, Teck’s third quarter steelmaking coal sales are now expected to be between 5.5 – 5.9 million tonnes, compared to the previously announced 5.8 – 6.2 million tonnes range.

Unionized workers at Westshore Terminals, located in the Metro Vancouver area, walked out of the job over the weekend causing a complete halt of operations.

The port, with a capacity to handle 33 million tonnes of coal exports per year, takes production from British Columbia and Alberta, as well as the Powder River basin and Montana to international markets, mainly in the Asia-Pacific area. 

The Vancouver-based miner said Elkview would reschedule planned plant maintenance to take advantage of plant downtime and mine operations would focus on pre-stripping during the outage. 

Teck, which is also the world’s second-biggest exporter of steelmaking coal, had to halt production at Elkview in 2018 for almost two months. At the time, it lost about 200,000 tonnes in coal output.

Elkview Operations set a new production record in 2021, the first full year of operations since its plant expansion to a capacity of 9 million tonnes per annum.

Teck projects that proven and probable reserves at Elkview are enough to support mining for a further 30 years.