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Elk Valley coal mine water quality plan approved

World Coal,

Coal mining firm, Teck Resources Ltd, has announced that the British Columbia Ministry of Environment approved the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan, which is an area based plan to address the management of selenium and other substances released by mining activities throughout the Elk Valley watershed.

Development of the plan was informed by scientific advice received from a Technical Advisory Committee, chaired by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, which included representatives from Teck, the Ktunaxa Nation, US Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Montana, Environment Canada and other agencies and an independent scientist. Public input was received through three phases of consultation conducted in Elk Valley communities.

The plan establishes short, medium and long-term water quality targets which are protective of the environment and human health for selenium, nitrate, sulphate and cadmium, as well as a plan to manage calcite formation. The approved plan is a public policy document that will guide future regulatory decision making regarding water quality and mining in the Elk Valley.

Teck will implement aquatic monitoring, water quality testing and various water quality management measures in order to achieve the target levels in the plan.

Teck’s work is expected to include construction of water diversions and water treatment facilities at a number of our Elk Valley Operations, including:

  • A water treatment facility at Line Creek Operations, currently undergoing commissioning, with expected full operation in early 2015.
  •  A water treatment facility at Fording River Operations, planned for 2018.
  •  It is anticipated a water treatment facility will be necessary at Elkview Operations following the Fording River facility.

Previous estimates contemplated total capital spending of approximately C$ 600 million over a five-year period on the installation of water diversions and water treatment facilities, including the C$ 120 million already invested to build the facility at Line Creek Operations. Teck is reviewing its estimate of the capital and operating costs based on the approved plan and intends to provide an update in its year end results. Based on work conducted to date, it is expected that the revised cost estimate will not vary materially from those previously disclosed.

Adapted from press release by Sam Dodson

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