* Purchase of Teck stake may only be first of many
* Looking at opportunities amid credit crunch
* Key commodities include coal, copper and uranium (In U.S. dollars unless noted)
By Pav Jordan
TORONTO, July 12 (Reuters) - China's purchase of a C$1.74 billion ($1.5 billion) stake in Teck Resources (TCKb.TO) may be just the opening move from the world's top resource consumer in a strategy to use its unique wealth advantage to become a key source of mining capital for Canadian firms.
Teck said last week it sold a 17.2 percent equity stake to state-owned China Investment Corp in a deal that allows the Canadian miner to pay down its massive debt while expanding China's portfolio of commodity investments.
The deal underscores how deep China's pockets are at a time when many sources of credit and financing have dried up in the global recession, even for the biggest miners.
"Most people thought China would take advantage of this dip in commodity prices and, because they're the only ones with money, take advantage of this financial situation we are in. They have come through big time, be it oil and gas, or any commodity you can think of," David Davidson, an analyst with Paradigm Capital in Toronto, said in an interview after the Teck deal was announced....MORE