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Geotechnical instability forces Teck to suspend Highland Valley pit ops

Teck’s Highland Valley operation in B.C. Image from Teck Resources.

Diversified miner Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.B, TECLK.A) has temporarily closed the Highland Valley copper mine’s Valley pit on Monday.

Teck said in a brief news release the closure was a proactive measure in response to a geotechnical instability within the pit.

Teck said the Valley Pit would reopen after remediation, and the area was confirmed safe.

The company said there is no risk to worker safety, noting employees and contractors scheduled to work in the Valley Pit have been temporarily redeployed to other areas of the operation near Logan Lake.

The company added that there is no risk to the environment or surrounding communities, noting the mine operates normally, using stockpiled ore at the site.

The news comes just two weeks after the United Steel Workers staged a brief “safety stand down” at the mine due to concerns about the collapse of a massive scoop shovel which had been undergoing maintenance at the time.

At that time, Teck said it was working with its employees to “strengthen safety performance.”

The operation is forecast to produce between 127,000 and 133,000 tonnes, with a relatively even distribution throughout the year. Copper output from 2023 to 2025 is expected to be between 130,000 and 160,000 tonnes per year.

A Teck spokesman said the impact on operations is expected to be minimal.