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Regulatory approval awarded to Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 project

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Global Mining Review,

Teck Resources Limited has received regulatory approval for its Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project in the Tarapacá Region in northern Chile. The regional Environmental Committee of Tarapacá has voted to approve the project Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Receipt of the Environmental Qualification Resolution (RCA) is expected in the coming weeks.

“Receiving this regulatory approval is a major step forward in advancing our QB2 project,” said Don Lindsay, President and CEO of Teck. “QB2 will be a high quality, low cost, long life operation with significant expansion potential that will substantially increase Teck’s copper production and generate considerable value for many years.”

The QB2 project is expected to be a tier one asset in Teck’s portfolio, with low ‘all in’ sustaining costs, an initially permitted mine life of 25 years utilising only a quarter of reserves and resources, and significant potential for further growth. The approval of the EIA is a key step forward towards a potential construction sanction decision, which could be considered as early as the fourth quarter of 2018.

Located in northern Chile, QB2 will provide significant economic and social benefits for the country and the region. The project incorporates extensive environmental measures, including the first large-scale use of desalinated seawater for mining in Chile’s Tarapacá Region, in place of freshwater use.

Teck has engaged with and consulted the local community through the advancement of QB2, and will continue to engage throughout construction and operation.

The project will be a low risk operation utilising proven technologies, and will include the construction of a new 140 000 tpd concentrator, tailings storage facility, concentrate pipeline, water supply pipeline, desalination plant, concentrate filtration plant and port to produce copper and molybdenum concentrates.

The main features include:

  • Long life, low cost operation.
  • 300 000 t of copper equivalent production per year for the first five years of mine life. Initially permitted mine life of 25 years utilising only a quarter of reserves and resources with significant expansion potential.
  • Exceptionally low life of mine stripping ratio of 0.5x, lower in the early years.
  • Competitive capital intensity.
  • High quality copper concentrate with low impurities.
  • Estimated 9000 - 11 000 jobs during peak construction and more than 2000 ongoing direct and indirect jobs during operation.
  • Local training and hiring plan for construction, in co-ordination with government and local communities.
  • Significant economic and social benefits to the country and Tarapacá region through employment, taxes and community investments in collaboration with local communities.

Teck owns 90% of Compañía Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca S.A. (QBSA). ENAMI, a Chilean State agency, holds a 10% preference share interest in QBSA, which does not require ENAMI to fund capital spending.

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