Elkview Mine

From Global Energy Monitor

Elkview Mine is a surface coal mine, operated by Teck Coal near Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada.

Location

The satellite photo below shows the approximate proposed mine site near Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada.

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Background

Teck has a 95% partnership interest in the Elkview mine. The remaining 5% is held equally by Nippon Steel Corporation and POSCO, a Korean steel producer, each of which acquired a 2.5% interest in 2005 for US$25 million. The mine is 27,054 hectares of coal lands of which 3,599 hectares have been mined or are scheduled for mining. Elkview is primarily steelmaking coal, and a small amount of thermal coal. The annual production capacities of the mine and preparation plan are approximately 5.6 million and 6.5 milllion tons. At 2010 production rates, the Elkview mine is estimated to have a remaining reserve life of approximately 41 years.[1]

Environmental Impacts

According to the Environmental Justice (EJ) Atlas, over the past two decades, scientists and citizens have been alerting to the fact that populations of fish, invertebrates and other marine animals in the area have been decreasing while the remaining populations have been displaying increasing deformities.

These phenomena are due to the high presence of selenium in the waterways of the valley, a substance which is necessary to human health in small doses but becomes toxic in high doses, and which is detrimental and potentially lethal to other non-human animals including fish.

The selenium comes from the Elk Valley Mines, which extract metallurgical coal necessary for the manufacturing of steel by applying a “cross-valley fill” technique. The rock is first scraped from the surface of the mountainside after which the coal is separated from the rest of the material, which becomes waste. The waste material, which contains the selenium deposits, is left in piles and, through exposure to air and water, slowly seeps selenium into groundwater, eventually reaching river bodies.[2][3]

Mine Expansion

In April 2020, Teck completed its Elkview Operations Plant Expansion Project. The expansion gave Elkview the capacity to produce nine million tonnes annually. It also allowed Teck to replace higher cost production from its Cardinal River operations (which closed in the second half of 2020) with lower cost production from its Elkview operations.[4]

Proven and probable reserves at Elkview are now projected to support mining for a further 30 years, extending the life of the mine to 2047.[1][5]

Project Details

  • Operator: Teck Coal
  • Owner: Teck Coal (95%), Nippon Steel (2.5%), POSCO (2.5%)[6]
  • Location: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
  • GPS Coordinates:49.742507, -114.823906 (exact)
  • Mine Status: Operating
  • Start Year:
  • Production: 9 million tons per annum
  • Mineable Reserves:
  • Coal Type: Met, bituminous
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Surface
  • Number of Employees: 920

Project Expansion Details

  • Status: Operating
  • Capacity: 9 million tons per annum
  • Mineable Reserves:
  • Start Year: 2020
  • Source of Financing:

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Operations: Elkview", Teck Coal website, accessed June 21, 2022.
  2. C. Linnitt, For decades B.C. failed to address selenium pollution in the Elk Valley. Now no one knows how to stop it,The Narwhal, December 4, 2018
  3. C. Williams,From Canadian Coal Mines, Toxic Pollution That Knows No Borders, YaleEnvironment360, April 1, 2019.
  4. Q2 2020 Financial Report, Teck Resources Limited, accessed June 21, 2022.
  5. "Teck proposed expansions", Elk Valley Coal News, accessed June 21, 2022.
  6. Annual Information Form, February 23, 2022.