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Dust Management in the Elk Valley

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

Managing air quality is critical to people, communities and the environment. Teck understands that dust generated from our operations is visible from communities in the Elk Valley. We are deploying known effective dust mitigations, and looking at other innovative mitigations and monitoring systems to drive continued improvement at our operations. We are gaining ground, but recognize that more work is needed. We value your input and have included your feedback into our practices.


  • Teck is trialing new and innovative solutions focused on minimizing and managing dust generation. 

  • Minimizing dust impacts in the community is a priority year-round at Elkview Operations (Elkview), with a dedicated dust management team and budget.  

  • Elkview successfully piloted EnviroSuite, an innovative new software with functionality that assists Teck’s dust management proactivity, informing blasting practices, prioritization, and placement of mitigations, such as water trucks, misters and dust suppressant material. EnviroSuite enables backtrack modelling, predictive modelling, real-time reporting and alerts, data storage for trend analysis, and forward planning. 

  • Elkview successfully trialed a new dust suppressant additive Haulage-DC™ to aid in swift water penetration through surfaces to minimize evaporation and runoff. This reduces water consumption and allows the water truck fleet to cover a greater area in the equivalent hours. Water and mister trucks also received multiple upgrades, including fill chute relocations, custom gravity spray bars, standardized parts and critical spare inventory. 

  • Elkview continues to evaluate mine design and sequencing to reduce community impact.  

  • Water trucks keep active roads and pit areas wetted to minimize dust generation during above zero temperatures. Water trucks are always on site and receive priority maintenance. 

  • Hydro seeders apply seed and mulch, or suppressants with additives, to areas known for dusting (lagoons, coarse coal refuse, clean coal stockpiles, high walls) to minimize airborne dust due to wind. 

  • Mister trucks, mister trailers or mister cannon systems are deployed throughout site to keep high walls, spoils and blast areas wet to manage dust caused by wind. Dust suppressants are applied to roads and rail cars to prevent dust generation. 

  • Expedited reclamation of former mining areas prone to dusting or visible to the community, such as the 6 Mile Access Road, areas below the Baldy Ridge II pit and unclaimed areas of the Bodie spoil and areas of the Baldy Ridge VI spoil, has been conducted.  

  • Dust management best practices, ideas and innovations are passed from Elkview Operations on to Teck’s other local operations, as we recognize this presents an opportunity to manage air quality in the Elk Valley on a broader scale.

  • Piloted in 2020, the EnviroSuite system gives real-time air quality monitoring, and includes: 

    • 15 dual dust and air quality and ultrasonic wind sensor monitors 

    • Two Met One particle monitors 

    • One new weather station

  • By integrating EnviroSuite with Teck’s existing ambient air monitoring stations, Elkview is able to: 

    • Monitor meteorological conditions and particulate matter concentrations in and around the mine site in real time 

    • Optimize implementation of dust control measures by establishing early warning particulate matter concentration or meteorological condition triggers e.g., wind speed or direction 

    • Provide quality-controlled data to support air quality alert or community feedback investigations 

    • Mitigate the impacts of blasting operations 

  • For the communities located near Teck’s operations, EnviroSuite helps predict dust events and deploy tactics as needed, e.g., deploying water truck as dust levels increase and plan blast activities accordingly, e.g., delay blasting to minimize impacts on the community. 

Real-time monitoring as displayed on the EnviroSuite dashboard

Image 1: Real-time monitoring as displayed on the EnviroSuite dashboard
  • Helicopter seeding is one of the most successful pilots from recent years.  

  • It reduces fugitive dust from wind scour in hard-to-reach areas by increasing vegetation.  

  • Helicopter seeding was successfully trialed on inactive dumps and is a cost-effective method to vegetate hard to access areas with minimal maintenance required long term. 

The Socio-Community and Economic Effects Advisory Committee (SCEEAC) acts as a conduit for Elkview Operations and the District of Sparwood to reach citizens and for citizens to reach Elkview Operations and the District of Sparwood. SCEEAC provides recommendations to Council and Teck for consideration with respect to implementing Elkview’s Baldy Ridge Extension Environmental Assessment Certificate Condition 21.

Learn more about the SCEEAC at http://www.sparwood.ca/livable

Elk Valley Dust Monitoring Stations

Fine Particulate Classification

PM2.5: a particulate 2.5 microns or smaller in diameter.
The provincial government’s objective is 25 micrograms per cubic meter.

PM10: a particulate 10 microns or smaller in diameter.
The provincial government’s daily objective is 50 micrograms per cubic meter.

TSP: the overall Total Suspended Particles.
The provincial government’s daily objective is 120 micrograms per cubic meter.


District of Sparwood Live Camera Feed

District of Sparwood Live Camera Feed

Watch a real-time view of Elkview operations.

Watch Feed

Elk Valley Operations Blasting Schedule

Teck may conduct daily blasting at our operations. We monitor wind direction and plan our blasts for when favourable weather conditions exist. 

Elkview Operations blasts are scheduled between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. There are minimal instances of blasting outside of this timeslot. 

Greenhills Operations blasts are scheduled between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. There are minimal instances of blasting outside of this timeslot. 

Line Creek Operations blasts are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. There are minimal instances of blasting outside of this timeslot. 

Fording River Operations blasts are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. but blasting times can vary between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 

Fording River Operations may blast more than once per day. 

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


Teck

As one of Canada’s leading mining companies, Teck is committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, zinc, and steelmaking coal, as well as investments in energy assets.