Spill at Teck’s plant in Canada now contained, no risks to human health

Shares in Teck Resources (TSX: TCK.B) (NYSE:TCK), Canada’s largest diversified miner, were trading moderately lower Thursday after the company confirmed a spill of metal-contaminated water at its Trail smelting and refining plant in British Columbia.

The stock was down 0.37% $8.52 in New York at 9:39 am, but it has had an amazing 2016 so far — it has climbed almost 120% since January.

In February this year, Teck was hit with a $3.4-million dollar fine for polluting the Columbia River with toxins such as ammonia and cadmium.

In an emailed statement late Wednesday, Teck said it was not known how much of the water containing metals mighty have emptied into Stoney Creek, a tributary of the Columbia River.

It added the now contained spill lasted for about 15-20 minutes, and is believed to have happened when a line carrying runoff water from a landfill area to its water treatment facility broke.

Canada’s Ministry of Environment has estimated that about 90 litres of contaminated water were spilled.

This is not the first incident affecting the facility, in operations since 1896. In 2012, Teck admitted to polluting the Columbia River for decades with slag from its smelting operation.

In 2014, the Vancouver-based company said it accidentally dumped 25,000 litres of a solution containing sodium hydroxide into the river.

And, in February this year, it was hit with a $3-million dollar fine after pleading offences under the Fisheries Act linked to the effects of effluents from its facility over about 16 months.