As part of our focus on responsible mining, Teck is committed to maintaining water quality in the area of our steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley.
In cooperation with governments in Canada and the United States, Indigenous groups, communities, independent scientific experts and others, Teck developed and is implementing the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan, which is focused on stabilizing and reversing the trend of selenium in the watershed.
Elkview Facility Expansion
In February 2021, we commissioned the expansion of our Elkview Saturated Rock Fill (SRF) water treatment facility, which is now successfully treating up to 20 million litres of water per day, double its initial capacity of 10 million litres per day.
"Teck’s use of saturated rock fills to treat mine-affected water is leading-edge sustainable technology,” said Dr. Lisa Kirk, an affiliate professor in Montana State University's Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the principal biogeochemist at the Montana-based consulting Enviromin, who helped develop saturated rock fill technology. “Saturated rock fill is extremely effective at removing selenium and nitrate from mine affected water and improving water quality.”
Key Projects at Fording River Operations
In August 2021, we completed construction of the Fording River South Active Water Treatment Facility. The new facility started treating water in 2021 and will significantly reduce selenium concentrations in the Upper Fording River.
In late 2021, Teck also completed construction and started commissioning of phase 1 of the Fording River North Saturated Rock Fill facility. This facility will be expanded to treat up to 30 million litres of water per day later in 2022.
“Teck is making significant progress towards achieving the objectives of the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan and protecting water quality in the region for the long term,” says Robin Sheremeta, Senior Vice President, Coal. “We are working to ensure that the environment is protected while supporting continued responsible mining in the region.”
As at the end of 2021, we have 47.5 million litres per day of water treatment capacity in the Elk Valley, and we expect to further increase capacity to treat 77.5 million litres of water per day in 2022, through four water treatment facilities at Line Creek, Elkview and Fording River. With the additional capacity, we expect to achieve the primary objective of the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan: stabilizing and reducing the selenium trend in the watershed.
Learn more about our water management work in the Elk Valley at teck.com/elkvalley.