COVID-19

Teck quits QB2 work for now

Canadian miner Teck Resources said it is protecting its employees and limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus by temporarily halting contraction activities at its Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project in the Tarapaca region of northern Chile

Teck's Quebrada Blanca copper mine is located in Tarapacá Region of northern Chile

Teck's Quebrada Blanca copper mine is located in Tarapacá Region of northern Chile

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The idling of work at the copper project will impact at least 15,000 workers for an initial two-week period. At that time Teck said it will re-assess the project's status against the newest available virus information.

President and CEO Don Lindsay said the entire company is focusing on health and safety during a challenging time.

"Considering the significant size and scale of the QB2 project, and the fact that workers on the project commute in large numbers from all over Chile, this is the right decision to protect the health and safety of workers and their families, and to support the Chilean government efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19," he said.

"In the days ahead, we will be putting a plan in place to be ready to restart construction as soon as possible, subject to further developments in the response to COVID-19."

QB2 construction has already halted and demobilisation is in process.

Teck confirmed that, as of March 18, it did not have any confirmed virus cases from its employees or contractors.

Teck has an indirect 60% interest in Compañía Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca, or QBSA, which owns QB2. ENAMI, a Chilean state agency, has a 10% non-funding interest in QBSA, and Sumitomo Metal Mining, and parent Sumitomo together have a collective 30% indirect interest.

QB2, which has a 28-year estimated mine life, is one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world, according to Teck.

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