All the talk about when and why, it's actually simple to figure out.
Teck should elect right away. If it's a royalty or 20% they do not want to delay this because it only harms them and us. Why shoot themselves in the foot? If they want a bigger slice they will do it right away. Again, for the same reason. If we are to carry the ball in any way then they need to see us grow in strength not weaken due to the uncertainty the silence would bring.
I bet they are finalizing the option right now. Ya they are supposed to be taking a holiday but what a better cover to ink out a deal. No one will question what they are up to.
If they want the whole deal including building a mine then the earlier they can start the better. Right now costs are good and they can accelerate the program. The plan for a 5 year build when there is a 4 year build clause is a big tip off. We would have set the BFS to a 4 year clock if there was any need to meet this requirement.
Why spend a lot of money on a JV if you want to get out of it? We don't want to do a JV and it makes good sense for them to NOT want us as a partner. We'd be an unwilling partner. Our bag is exploration and development and they are the mining experts and both side have agreed to that. The JV legal alone not including the time comes with a high price. Why spend the time and money just to renegotiate it when we sell off our chunk.
It just doesn't make sense. While we can speculate what Teck will do we only know what's on the table currently. Yet there is a good reason to believe that money will rule at the end of the day.