Elkview Mine honoured by MAC
Award recognizes facility-level excellence in corporate responsibility
For its outstanding performance in the ‘Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM)’ initiative’s three focus areas—environmental footprint, communities and people, and energy efficiency—Teck’s Elkview Operations in British Columbia has been awarded with a special TSM Leadership Award. Teck joins just two other companies with a mine site that has achieved this distinction in the TSM program’s 10-year history.
Teck was presented with the award at a reception hosted by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Nov. 28 in Sparwood. The event was attended by Teck employees, members from the local community and government officials.
“We are pleased to recognize Elkview with the TSM Leadership Award, which is an important and rare distinction that celebrates a facility for its achievements in the TSM initiative,” said Pierre Gratton, MAC’s President and CEO. “I congratulate Elkview for its leadership in environmental management, for how it engages with its communities, and for being a model for other mine sites across Canada.”
TSM Performance Awards are presented annually to MAC members that achieve high levels of performance, and meet or surpass benchmarks in the areas of tailings management, Aboriginal and community outreach, energy use and crisis management planning. A facility’s TSM results must be externally verified to be eligible for this recognition.
Teck’s Elkview Operations was honoured with awards in each of the four performance areas, as well as the TSM Leadership Award for its 2012 results. This award is granted only when a facility meets or exceeds a level ‘A’ ranking in their results across all of the four performance categories (known as ‘protocols’).
“Teck employees live and work in this region and they are dedicated to making sure that resource development is sustainable and creates real benefits for the community,” said Marcia Smith, Senior Vice President, Sustainability & External Affairs, Teck. “This achievement reflects the tremendous work of employees at Elkview Operations who continually work to improve our sustainability performance.”
Mine officials attending the event were unaware they were in for an honour.
“Elkview officials didn’t know they were being audited for this so this was a terrific surprise for the mine,” reported City of Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano.
While Elkview’s scores reflect leadership across all TSM categories, the facility stands out for its best practices in Aboriginal and community outreach. In this category, Elkview achieved the highest possible ranking—level “AAA”—across all of the indicators that make up this protocol. This includes, but is not limited to, establishing processes to communicate with a facility’s communities of interest, understanding the viewpoints of the communities, and ensuring that those communities are informed of the mine’s activities and performance.
This award shines a light on Elkview’s strong commitment to engaging with the people who live in the community, the Ktunaxa First Nation and the broader public at every stage of the mining life cycle,” noted Gratton.
As further evidence to its strong community outreach and engagement practices, Teck established an advisory panel in March 2012 comprised of representatives from the local community to foster dialogue about its operations and to incorporate community priorities and perspectives into the mine’s decision- making. This initiative is aligned with one of Teck’s community sustainability goals: to put processes in place to maximize community benefits and collaboration.
Teck’s Elkview Operations is the company’s second-largest open pit mine, with more than 1,000 full- time employees. It is located just east of Sparwood and produces high-quality steel-making coal. The current annual production capacities of the mine and preparation plant (on a 100% basis) are approximately 6.5 million and 6.5 million tonnes of clean coal, respectively. At current planned production rates, Elkview is estimated to have a remaining reserve life of approximately 34 years.
Teck/Lead photo courtesy Mary Giuliano