“Teck has been a great corporate citizen and have set the bar for other companies to follow when it comes to engaging and supporting rural communities while partnering with them in resource development” – Derm Corbett, Mayor of the Town of Buchans
Location: Millertown, Newfoundland
Type: Underground copper mine
Active: 2007 - 2015
Status: Decommissioning underway, reclamation work begun; working with local stakeholders to establish end land uses
When our Duck Pond copper and zinc mine in central Newfoundland began operations in 2007, it was with the knowledge it would likely close in 2015. That made it important to focus on planning for closure to mitigate the impacts on employees and communities. There had to be dialogue and a lot of local input into the closure plans.
In the years and months leading up to mine closure we held a series of information sessions in the six local communities to seek local input on closure plans. We also scheduled regular meetings and site visits with municipal governments and local organizations. The feedback we received throughout this process was largely concern over lost employment and a desire to know what Teck planned to do with the land. There was high interest in returning the land to its natural state, with some considerations for hunting, fishing and logging.
Given this feedback, even though the closure had been planned for from day one, we recognized our employees and the community would need to be supported throughout the transition. As a result, the closure plan included severance, résumé assistance and help identifying employment opportunities for employees at other Teck operations in Canada or other companies in the region. We also looked for opportunities to sell the mill to potential buyers, in an effort to create new regional employment and economic opportunities.
Teck connected with more than 60 companies from the region to collaborate on how they could participate in the various stages of closure and reclamation in a way that would continue to generate local economic benefits.
The decommissioning and reclamation activities are focused on restoring the land to a natural state that reflects the community’s objectives for the land. While closure work continues at Duck Pond, our focus is to maintain engagement with our communities of interest to keep them informed, identify further opportunities to create benefits and continue planning for post-closure land uses.
First Published on October 17, 2016