UPDATE 2-High copper prices help Canada’s Teck beat profit views

(Adds details on forecast)

Feb 24 (Reuters) – Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd reported a better-than expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, driven by higher prices for copper and steelmaking coal.

Demand for copper and coal has risen as global economies recover further from pandemic lows. Copper prices rose 25% in 2021, also boosted by tight supplies, falling inventories and a pick-up in electric vehicle sales, while coal prices hit record a high in the final quarter of last year.

Teck said its average price realized for copper rose about 35% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, while production fell 7% to 72,600 tonnes, hurt by lower output from its Carmen de Andacollo mine as a result of lower ore grades. Realized steelmaking coal prices more than tripled to $351 per tonne.

Copper production for 2022 is expected at 273,000 tonnes to 290,000 tonnes, compared with 287,000 tonnes last year. Steelmaking coal sales are seen between 6.1 million tonnes and 6.5 million tonnes for the first quarter, compared with 6.2 million tonnes in the same period of 2020.

The miner is exploring options for its metallurgical coal business, including a sale or spinoff that could value the unit at as much as $8 billion, according to media reports.

The company's adjusted quarterly profit of C$2.54 per share topped analysts' estimate of C$2.39 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.

($1 = 1.2787 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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