Photo courtesy of Teck

Teck’s water treatment facility on track for 2020 completion

Teck is on schedule for late 2020 for the completion of their new water treatment facility at Fording River Operations near Elkford.

The mining giant announced in May of last year that construction on the facility had started. The company hopes the new facility will improve water quality at its steeelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley.

Its purpose is to 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 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’.

Teck’s Manager of Social Responsibility, Nic Milligan explained that the company is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in research, monitoring, and water treatment to address water quality challenges in the Elk Valley.

In a release by the company in 2018, they committed to investing between $850 and $900 million over the next five years on the construction of water treatment facilities as part of this water quality plan.

Milligan says they’re starting to see results.

“We are seeing reductions in selenium and nitrate concentrations downstream of our first water treatment plant at Line Creek Operations, and we expect further significant reductions in other areas as future facilities come on line,” he said in an email.

“We are applying what we’ve learned at Line Creek to build a larger tank-based plant which is under construction now at our Fording River Operations.”

The new water treatment facility is set to remove selenium and nitrate from up to 20 million litres of water per day, about three times the capacity of the current facility at Line Creek.

“The construction is advancing as planned and we are on schedule for late 2020 construction completion and commissioning of the facility,” he said.

“We are absolutely committed to putting in the work and resources necessary to address water quality challenges in the Elk Valley and ensuring the health of the watershed now and for the future,” he added.

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