|Vancouver, BC - Teck Cominco Limited announced today that it is revising its sales guidance for the third and fourth quarters of 2006. While production in the third quarter is substantially in accordance with plan, third quarter sales of zinc in concentrate are now expected to be approximately 125,000 tonnes compared to the previously announced estimate of 175,000 tonnes, as a result of ice and weather conditions affecting the Red Dog Mine in Alaska. Fourth quarter sales are now expected to be above previous guidance as a result of the shipping delays in the third quarter.
The Red Dog Mine shipping season commenced two weeks later than normal as a result of ice conditions. Poor weather has reduced ship availability and has further delayed certain shipments. In addition, a high proportion of early shipments from Red Dog in the quarter went to Vancouver to supply the Trail metal operations, correspondingly reducing shipments to third party customers in Europe and the Far East. Assuming satisfactory shipping performance in the fourth quarter, sales tonnage for the fourth quarter of 2006 is expected to be approximately 225,000 tonnes, or 25,000 tonnes above previous guidance. An additional 25,000 tonnes of sales originally expected in the second half of 2006 will be deferred to the first quarter of 2007. Teck Cominco still expects to ship approximately 550,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate during the 2006 shipping season, representing substantially all of the minesite concentrate inventory.
In addition, Teck Cominco’s third quarter operating profit attributed to the Antamina mine will be negatively affected by the timing of shipments of 5,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate that will be recognized in revenue in the fourth quarter, increased royalty expenses and our provision for a potential liability resulting from Antamina’s agreement in principle during the quarter to make certain social payments.
Production at all of Teck Cominco’s base metal operations has been substantially as expected during the third quarter. Teck Cominco will release its third quarter 2006 financial results on Monday, October 30, 2006, after markets close.
Teck Cominco is a diversified mining company, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TCK.A and TCK.B and on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TCK. The company is a world leader in the production of zinc and metallurgical coal and is also a significant producer of copper, gold, indium and other specialty metals. Further information can be found at www.teckcominco.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and forward-looking information as defined in the Securities Act (Ontario). Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “are expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Teck Cominco to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These include risks generally associated with mining operations, including the risk of production interruption due to mechanical failure, strike or other labour disruption, geological conditions, and other factors. Sales forecasts are based on a number of assumptions, in addition to those stated above, including no material disruption or interruption of production and no material interruption to shipments.
Certain of these risks and assumptions are described in more detail in the annual information form of the company and in its public filings with the SEC and Canadian securities regulatory authorities. The company does not assume the obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements after the date of this document or to revise them to reflect the occurrence of future unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.