Statement from Dr. Norman Keevil
Teck Resources Limited today issued a statement on behalf of Teck Chairman Emeritus Dr. Norman B. Keevil:
“As there has been much media commentary regarding my views on the future of Teck, I would like to provide a clear statement of my perspective.
My colleagues and I are proud of what we achieved through 30 years of building Teck, growing the company 500-fold from a $25 million market cap to $12.6 billion, with double-digit compounded growth in shareholder value, and continuing growth in recent years to $25 billion today.
I am confident that Jonathan Price and his team have every chance of duplicating that strong growth phase again, perhaps doing even better. Teck today has the producing assets, a series of good potential development projects in copper and other important metals, the people, the financial strength, and the focus to do it.
There are numerous mining industry parties who have their eyes on Teck and would be interested in partnering or investing in Teck Metals after it separates its base metals and steelmaking coal businesses.
I would support a transaction – whether it be an operating partnership, merger, acquisition, or sale – with the right partner, on the right terms for Teck Metals after separation. Based on my decades of experience building a successful mining company, I believe that pursuing a sale or merger transaction now would rob our shareholders of significant post-separation value.
Glencore’s proposal is the wrong one, as well as at the wrong time. Ivan Glasenberg is an interesting guy and a smart man, and his timing is certainly good for them, but not for Teck or our shareholders. I fully agree with Teck’s Board that there is no deal to be done pre-separation with Glencore or any other party.
For more background on the Teck story, I refer to my 2017 book Never Rest on Your Ores – Building a Mining Company, One Stone at a Time. The publisher, McGill Queens University Press, has just released an updated, second edition yesterday, April 15, as part of its long-planned Spring Collection.
Shareholders and proxy advisers interested in how the company was built may enjoy reading some of it. The new chapters 42 and 43 update some of the industry and Teck stories respectively, during the China super-cycle, and through to the worldwide disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. The chart on page 434 tells the rest, showing Teck’s steady growth upwards in spite of the inevitable commodity price cycles. The underlying reason – building or acquiring 17 new mines over 30 years and doing it well.
The title and subtitles tell much. A mining company without ore reserves is an oxymoron, and our previous best growth years resulted from a steady process of adding reserves over many years, one new mine at a time. That describes the exciting future that Jonathan, his team, and I see for Teck as it goes forward.”