On Mar. 10, the BC Environmental Assessment Office hosted an open house to inform the public about Teck’s proposal to expand Baldy Ridge at its Elkview Mine. The open house was held at the Sparwood’s Senior Centre from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Along with BC Environmental Assessment Office representatives, there were representatives from Teck and the independent firms that assessed the different areas of concern.
There were nine information booths set up dedicated to a variety of topics including the economic benefits, the impact to fish and wildlife and the air quality concerns. There was also a station where people could provide feedback and inform Teck of their concerns regarding the proposal.
The Baldy Ridge expansion would prolong the life of the Elkview mine by 30 years, with expected operations lasting until the year 2045. While it wouldn’t provide a large influx of new jobs, it would maintain the estimated 1000 workers already employed at the mine for another three decades, 85 per cent of which live in the Elk Valley or Crowsnest Pass areas. The expansion is expected to generate $221.6 million in employment income over its lifespan.
Teck’s Manager, Community and Aboriginal Affairs Nic Milligan was happy with the amount of people who showed interest in the project.
“At the Mar. 10 open house, as at past consultation events, there was strong recognition of the economic benefits of mining,” said Milligan. “We also received questions about potential dust, noise and vibrations related to the project and we will be taking that feedback into consideration throughout our regulatory application.”
Teck reported 72 people attended the open house.
The Baldy Ridge Expansion proposal has been reviewed by the Environmental Assessment Office, and is now in the application review stage and the public comment period. The application review stage lasts for 180 days, and the government is expected to make their decision in September. If approved, the project is expected to begin operations in the fall of 2017.