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Coal operations at Westshore Terminals in Delta, B.C.
Coal operations at Westshore Terminals in Delta, B.C.

Teck lowers coal sales outlook Add to ...

Teck Resources Ltd. trimmed its third-quarter and full-year coal sales forecast on Monday, citing temporary capacity constraints at Westshore Terminals Inc., Canada's largest coal export facility, on the Pacific Coast.

The Vancouver-based diversified miner expects third-quarter coal sales to be in the range of 5.2 million to 5.5 million tonnes, down from an earlier forecast of 5.8 million to 6.2 million.

It also lowered full-year shipment volumes to a range of 23 million to 23.8 million tonnes, down from its earlier view of 23.5 million to 24.5 million tonnes.

Westshore, just south of Vancouver, has operated at less than its stated annual capacity of 29 million tonnes during the current quarter, holding back shipments at the terminal, Teck said in a statement.

The company said neither the ongoing strike at its Coal Mountain mine, nor the explosion this June at its Greenhills processing plant had any material impact on sales.

Teck said the coal drying facility that was damaged by the explosion is expected to begin commissioning this December, but the mine will continue to ship higher-moisture coal in the interim.

The company said it has completed fourth-quarter negotiations with a majority of its traditional customers in both the Pacific and Atlantic regions, with pricing generally at $209 (U.S.) per tonne for its top quality product.

This is about 7 per cent below the $225 per tonne that customers paid for its top of the line coal in the third-quarter.

The company said its lower quality coal will be priced in line with market settlements announced by other producers for similar quality products.

Teck said it is in discussions with Westshore concerning the shortfall in shipments and possible measures to alleviate the situation. Westshore has informed Teck that improvements at the port are expected to permit it to load all of Teck's expected deliveries in 2011.

Teck said it is taking all available steps to mitigate the impact of the shortfalls at Westshore, by diverting shipments to other terminals on the West Coast.


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