(Vancouver) Sumitomo Metal Mining, a key shareholder in Teck Resources, said Thursday it would vote for the miner’s plan to split its metallurgical and steelmaking coal operations into two separate entities.

The Japanese company explained in a statement that it has built a trusted partnership with Teck in mining activities.

Switzerland’s Glencore has submitted an unsolicited takeover bid for Teck, which would see the latter’s shareholders receive a stake in a company formed from the two companies’ metallurgical activities, as well as a choice between cash or a stake in the combination of the coal activities of the two companies.

However, Glencore said shareholders would first have to reject the company’s plan to split its operations into Teck Metals and Elk Valley Resources.

Teck, whose board rejected Glencore’s proposal, is controlled by the Keevil family and Sumitomo, who own its multiple-voting Class A shares.

Sumitomo owns 18.9% of Teck’s Class A shares and 0.1% of its Class B shares. It also has a 49% stake in Temagami Mining, which owns 55% of Teck’s Class A shares.

Company in this story: (TSX: TECK.B)