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Teck signs on for new US$1B revolver

Teck Resources has secured a new US$1 billion revolving credit facility the diversified miner says strengthens its financial capacity as it works toward completing the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) build in northern Chile and the Neptune terminal expansion in Vancouver, Canada.
Teck signs on for new US$1B revolver Teck signs on for new US$1B revolver Teck signs on for new US$1B revolver Teck signs on for new US$1B revolver Teck signs on for new US$1B revolver

Teck Resources has added new debt funding capacity

The unsecured two-year facility adds to a current $4 billion credit facility and $2.5 billion QB2 project financing facility.

Teck said it would use the net proceeds of a $550 million debt offering to repurchase its notes worth $255.1 million due in 2021, 2022 and 2023 in a tender offer. The remaining net proceeds will be used to reduce amounts outstanding on the $4 billion credit facility.

Teck has repurchased $104 million or 89% of the 2021 notes, $52 million or 26% of the 2022 notes and $99 million or 45% of the 2023 notes.

It plans to redeem all outstanding 2021 notes on July 30.

Meanwhile, Teck said it had resolved to settle past due amounts owed by Africa-focused explorer Deep-South Resources (TSXV:DSM) after it sold its 70% interest in Haib Minerals. Teck will accept 4.4 million Deep South shares at C8.5c. Teck also holds a convertible debenture valued at $389,117, convertible at 9c per share and maturing on December 31, 2021.

Teck owns 26.9% of Deep South, or 30.5% diluted.

Castle Mountain opposition

Teck is facing mounting opposition to its expansion plans for the Castle Mountain metallurgical coal mine in British Columbia.

The company is in the early stages of feasibility assessment for the Castle Mountain expansion plan, which would extend operations at Fording River to a nearby mountainous coal reserve. Teck has also begun a provincial regulatory process to obtain an environmental assessment certificate, and is hoping to submit a draft environment assessment application to the province by next year.

"Coal mining in the Elk Valley is an environmental disaster," said Wildsight mining coordinator Lars Sander-Green last week.

"If a coal mine expansion that will literally take apart a mountain and send hundreds of railcars of coal overseas every day for decades isn't big enough for a federal environmental assessment in Canada, then something has gone very wrong.

"BC's environmental assessment process already greenlit three massive coal mine expansions in the Elk Valley, ignoring a growing water pollution crisis. This time around, we need a federal environmental assessment to protect our fish," Sander-Green said.

Wildsight, along with environmental law charity EcoJustice, has sent a letter to the federal minister for environment and climate change, Jonathan Wilkinson, requesting that he nominate the project for an impact assessment.

A federal impact assessment would consider impacts downstream of the project, particularly in Montana and Idaho in the US, and open the process for feedback from organisations, Indigenous First Nations and communities.

Among the concerns with the proposed mine expansion are potential environmental impacts to the Westslope cutthroat trout downstream of the project, as well as migratory pathways for grizzly bears and wolverines.

Recent monitoring reports on the Upper Fording River found Westslope cutthroat adult populations had dropped 93% between 2017-2019, concluding an upstream disturbance such as mining could be the reason for this. Teck says it is studying the issue.

Teck shares (TSX:TECK-B) are down about 53% in the past 12 months at C$14.22, which capitalises it at $7.6 billion (US$5.6 billion).