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Teck enjoying record profits

The following is a press release from Teck.

Teck Resources Limited (TSX: TCK.A and TCK.B, NYSE: TCK) announced net earnings of $1.8 billion, or $3.42 per share, for 2009 and $411 million, or $0.70 per share, in the fourth quarter. Our operating profit before depreciation was approximately $3.7 billion for the year and $1.0 billion in the quarter.

Don Lindsay, President and CEO said, "Our record revenues this year reflected strong performance across the company, including record production of copper at Quebrada Blancaand zinc at both Red Dog and Antamina. Including the application of the proceeds from the sale of an interest in the Waneta Dam of $825 million, we will have reduced our total debt by approximately $6.7 billion since we acquired the Fording coal assets in October, 2008. With our current cash balance of $1.3 billion, our net-debt to net-debt-plus-equity ratio is then expected to be approximately 26%.”

Highlights and Significant Items

• Operating profit before depreciation for the year was $3.7 billion compared with $2.8 billion in 2008. Operating profit before depreciation in the fourth quarter was approximately $1.0 billion compared with $347 million a year ago.
• Net earnings for the year were our second highest ever at $1.8 billion  compared with $659 million last year. Net earnings in the quarter were $411 million compared with a net loss of $607 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
• EBITDA was $4.1 billion for the year and $1.0 billion in the fourth quarter.
• We recorded record revenues in the full year and the fourth quarter of 2009 of $7.7 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively.

Our non-core asset sales program, which includes the previously announced sale of our gold business, is nearly complete. The assets sold account for less than 5% of our total assets. Asset sales completed since we issued our third quarter results, yielding cash proceeds totalling US$370 million, include:

- the sale of an interest in the future gold production from our Andacollo mine to Royal Gold closed in January, 2010 providing Andacollo with cash of US$218 million and 1.2 million common shares of Royal Gold, of which our share is 90%,
- our 60% interest in the Agi Dagi and Kirazli gold projects in Turkey closed in
January, 2010. We received US$24 million and 2.4 million shares of Alamos Gold Incorporated, and
- our 78.8% interest in the Morelos gold project in Mexico to Gleichen Resources Ltd. for US$150 million in cash and approximately 1.6 million common shares and 12.4 million special warrants of Gleichen closed in November, 2009.
• The sale of one-third of our interest in the Waneta Dam for C$825 million is now scheduled to close in February. Upon completion, our total debt will be down to C$6.7 billion from the $13.4 billion at the time we acquired the Fording coal assets. Our term loan will be US$1.14 billion and our cash balance is expected to be approximately C$1.3 billion. Our net debt to net-debt-plus-equity ratio will be approximately 26%, a significant improvement from the 52% ratio at December 31, 2008. With amendments made to the term loan, our remaining
scheduled term loan payments are expected to be approximately US$440  million in 2010, US$420 million in 2011 and US$280 million in 2012.
• The Carmen de Andacollo concentrator project achieved mechanical completion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009. First ore was sent to the crusher on December 6, 2009 and first ore to the mill January 19, 2010. The process water supply issues have been resolved and the project is scheduled for commissioning in the first quarter. Design capacity is expected to be reached during the first half of 2010.The new plant is expected to produce 80,000 tonnes of copper and 55,000 ounces of gold in concentrate annually over the first 10
years of the project.
• In December we announced that our coal production is planned to increase by 25% to 30% in 2010 to 23.5 – 25 million tonnes.

We are pleased to support the “Zinc Saves Kids” campaign launched by UNICEF and the IZA during the recent World Economic Forum. Zinc is essential for all living organisms and is vital for brain development, growth and immune functions in children. According to the World Health Organization, zinc deficiency is one of the leading risk factors associated with diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea. It is estimated that 800,000 deaths per year are attributed to zinc deficiency, of which 450,000 are children under the age of five.