Teck announced Friday that construction has begun on a major new water treatment facility to improve water quality at its steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley.
The Fording River South Active Water Treatment Facility, located at Fording River Operations, will remove selenium and nitrate from mine affected water as part of Teck’s ongoing work under the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan. The goal of the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan is to stabilize and reverse the increasing trend of selenium and other substances to maintain the health of the watershed, while at the same time allowing for continued sustainable mining in the region.
“This new water treatment facility is an important step in our work to protect and improve water quality in the Elk Valley, while supporting continued responsible mining,” said Robin Sheremeta, Senior Vice President, Coal. “Teck is committed to completing the work necessary to implement the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan and supporting the environmental and economic well-being of the region.”
Early construction work, including site preparation and clearing, commenced in May. The Fording River South Active Water Treatment facility is expected to be operational in 2020, and is designed to treat 20 million litres of water per day.
The facility will treat water drawn from tributaries contributing to the flow in the Fording River. Biological treatment technology will be used to precipitate selenium into a solid form that can be extracted from the water. The Fording River treatment facility will also incorporate technology developed for the West Line Creek Active Water Treatment Facility to correct previously-identified performance challenges at that facility.
Teck’s expects to invest in the range of $850 to $900 million over the next five years (2018 – 2022) on construction of water treatment facilities as part of implementing the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan.
For more information on the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan, go to www.teck.com/elkvalley.