Teck Resources Ltd. says its steelmaking coal sales fell below its already downward revised guidance for the fourth quarter as adverse weather in British Columbia continued to affect logistics.
The mining company says the extreme cold weather in the province that followed heavy rains in November has led to further interruptions and substantial reductions to rail service and port activities.
Vancouver-based Teck says fourth quarter sales for steelmaking coal came in at 5.1 million tonnes, below the 5.2 – 5.7 million tonne guidance it issued Dec. 5 following the record rainfall in B.C.
The company had a guidance of 6.4 – 6.8 million tonnes sold before the November deluge severed rail and road lines in the province.
Teck says coal production at Elk Valley wasn’t affected by the November events because inventories at its operations were low at the time, but that the cold weather disruptions have led to near-record inventories and the company could be forced to reduce production if there are further transportation disruptions.
The company says the disruptions have also increased costs at its operations, but higher steelmaking coal prices should offset those costs, and it expects to substantially make up the lost sales volume in the first half of this year.
Teck also says that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is leading to increased staff absences at its coal operations in B.C., and that while it has yet to have a major impact, the situation poses a risk to first quarter production.