Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.A and TECK.B, NYSE: TECK) announced Friday that subsidiary Teck Coal Limited has resolved charges under the Fisheries Act relating to 2012 discharges of selenium and calcite to a mine settling pond and to the Fording River from its Fording River and Greenhills steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley region of British Columbia.
The B.C. Provincial Court has accepted a plea of guilty and a joint sentencing submission by the Crown and Teck Coal in relation to two counts charging offences under s. 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. As part of the resolution Teck Coal will pay a penalty of C$30 million ($47.6m) in respect of each offence. The Crown will not proceed with charges relating to the same discharges over the period from 2013 to 2019.
As previously announced in October 2020, Environment and Climate Change Canada has also issued a Direction under the Fisheries Act setting out additional measures to improve water quality and prevent calcite deposition that are complementary to measures already included in the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan that Teck is implementing. Information on the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan is here.
“We sincerely apologize and take responsibility for the impacts of these discharges,” Teck CEO Don Lindsay said in a media statement. Everyone at Teck is committed to responsible mining that protects the environment.”
“Although there has been mining in the Elk Valley for more than 120 years, it was not until 2010-2012 – through independent research commissioned by Teck – that we began to understand the full extent of the impacts of
selenium and calcite releases on water and aquatic health in the valley,” Lindsay said.
“We learned this was an extremely complex challenge connected to the long history of mining in the region, and that it required an extraordinary response,” he said.
“The Elk Valley is home to thousands of Teck employees and their families, and no one is more committed to solving this challenge than they are.”