British Columbia agency advances Teck’s application for new Elkview mine area

The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office on Sept. 17 issued an Application Information Requirements (AIR) document, which describes the information that Teck Coal Ltd. needs to provide as part of its application for approval of an extension to the existing Elkview Operations (EVO) mine.

This project is referred to as the Baldy Ridge Extension (BRE) Project, with Teck making its initial filing on this project in June 2014. The project is subject to review under the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act (BCEAA). The review is required because the proposed project has a planned new surface disturbance footprint of approximately 862 hectares outside of the existing Mines Act permit boundary and therefore meets the 750-hectare threshold specified in the regulation for an environmental assessment.

As confirmed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in a letter dated Jan. 23, 2014, Teck understands that the project is not subject to review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012; however, the federal agencies may participate in the environmental assessment through the Working Group established by the BC EAO.

The proposed project would be located approximately 2.5 kilometers east of Sparwood, British Columbia, and would produce an estimated 6.8 million tonnes of clean coal per year. 

Existing permitted mining areas could sustain operations until 2024 with a decline in production after 2019 (based on current projected production rates). To retain the existing workforce and meet market demands for steel-making coal in the future, this operation is dependent on the development of the proposed project. The proposed project is estimated to provide a total of 130 million tonnes of clean coal and will be a critical part of coal blends at this operation.

Teck Coal, a division of Teck Resources, is the leading North American producer of metallurgical coal. Teck operates six open-pit coal mines in western Canada: Cardinal River, Coal Mountain, Elkview, Line Creek, Greenhills, and Fording River. Five are in the Elk Valley of southeastern British Columbia, while Cardinal River is in west-central Alberta.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.