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Dust Management in the Elk Valley

We take extensive measures to monitor and manage dust at our operations and are working to identify new methods to improve dust management and air quality.

Air Quality and Dust Management

Teck takes dust very seriously and we are continuously seeking to improve our performance with respect to dust management. Air quality is critical to people, communities and the environment, we are committed to managing emissions at our operations to improve air quality.

Teck is aware that dust generated at Elkview and Greenhill’s Operations is visible from communities in the Elk Valley and want residents to know we are working hard to implement measures to manage and reduce dust at our operations.

In addition to our current practices, we are working on innovative solutions to this issue including new strategies and new equipment to minimize and manage dust generation on active waste rock dumping areas and as a result of blasting.

Teck formed a Dust Management Committee in 2016 comprised of Senior Management and currently leads a Regional Air Working Group encompassing all five mines in the Elk Valley. Under the working group, operations are working together to share and develop best management practices, robust monitoring systems and to carry out open and transparent community engagement on this issue. 

  • Teck has in place continuous monitoring equipment in and around the Elk Valley (Hosmer, Corbin, Elkford and Sparwood).

    • Teck has eight continuous air quality monitoring stations in and around the Elk Valley that are maintained and assured by a qualified third party.

    • This data is evaluated and reported to the BC Ministry of Environment.

    • The Sparwood monitoring results are reported to the District of Sparwood and to the community annually.

Teck’s Elk Valley operations have an extensive dust management program:

  • Water trucks are available at all times to keep active road and pit areas wetted to minimize dust generation. Water trucks receive maintenance priority if they are down for mechanical reasons.

  • Hydroseeders for use on the lagoons, coarse coal refuse, clean coal stockpiles, highwalls, and various other locations around the mine site

  • Mister trucks, mister trailers or mister cannon systems

  • Water Sprinkler systems at the processing plant and in-pit operations

  • Wind fencing on the lagoons

  • Chemical dust suppression for road dust 

  • Train car treatment

  • Reclamation of former mining areas

  • Intermittent and real-time cameras directed at operations to help personnel understand what site looks like from the community, to aid dust management planning

  • Dust and air quality monitoring and tracking systems

2018 Continuous Improvement

Over 50 initiatives across the Elk Valley are being evaluated to further improve dust management at sites. Currently projects underway include:

  • Trialing a suite of dust reduction product on several permanent roads in the pit.

  • Evaluating monitoring equipment to develop triggers to alter activities at the mine sites to reduce visible dusting

  • Trialing wetting of blast patterns just before they are initiated to determine how much surface dust could be reduced

  • Testing electronic detonators in an effort to reduce vibration of the high wall and dust generation

  • Trialing various mulch products for effectiveness

  • Ongoing application of dust suppression product to light vehicle roads, including mine access, shop and plant roads.

  • Piloting new technology to reduce or eliminate the requirement for a coal dryer

  • Piloting modelling dust ‘hot spots’ on site and determining mitigations with the greatest effectiveness

  • Additional air monitoring equipment to monitor and evaluate the effects of ‘nuisance dusting’

  • Trialing suppressant on cable belt transfer points to reduce dusting from clean coal stockpiles

  • Clean Vehicle Policy; car washes available for use at site departure points

Elk Valley Operations Blasting Schedule

Teck conducts a maximum of one blast per day at Elkview and Greenhills Operations. We monitor wind direction and plan our blasts for when favourable weather conditions exist.

Elkview Operations blasts are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.
Greenhills Operations blasts are scheduled between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.   

Blasting schedules at Fording River and Line Creek Operations are variable.

Coal Mountain Operations has ceased blasting as the site prepares to transition to care and maintenance.

Feedback

We welcome feedback from the community to help us to understand whether our mitigation measures are working, and if there are new issues that we need to address. Feedback can be left anonymously but if you leave your contact details we will always follow up with a response. We welcome your questions, feedback and suggestions on an ongoing basis.

Phone toll-free to 1.855.806.6854 and leave a message.

Send an email to feedbackteckcoal@teck.com

 

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Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with business units focused on copper, zinc, steelmaking coal and energy.