Construction to begin on Baldy Ridge extension
The provincial government has given Teck Resources Ltd. the green light to begin work on its Baldy Ridge Extension project near Sparwood, ensuring jobs now and well into the future for the approximately 1,000 people working at Teck’s Elkview operations.
The Baldy Ridge project is an extension of the current Teck Elkview operations open-pit mine. Elkview produces steelmaking coal – also called metallurgical coal or coking coal. Teck estimates the Baldy Ridge project will extend the overall life of the Elkview mine until 2045.
Major components of the Baldy Ridge project include mining steelmaking coal reserves in Baldy Ridge, Adit Ridge and Natal Ridge, development of water treatment measures as outlined in the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan and mine reclamation, closure and monitoring. The first steelmaking coal production from the areas included in the Baldy Ridge Extension project is planned for 2018.
“This project not only ensures jobs for people currently working at the Elkview Mine, over its lifespan, it’s going to create good-paying jobs for a whole new generation of miners,” stated Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Kootenay East MLA. “This is tremendous news for families and businesses in Sparwood, Elkford, Fernie and Cranbrook. This project provides economic certainty and employment opportunities in these communities for the next 30 years.”
“The Baldy Ridge Extension project will maintain the close to 1,000 local jobs at Elkview Operations while incorporating extensive measures to ensure the ongoing protection of the environment,” noted Robin Sheremeta, Teck’s senior vice-president, coal.
“This project is one of the most significant economic developments for our community and the entire region. We are a mining community and we want mining to continue. The Baldy Ridge Extension project guarantees a source of work in the region until 2045, which will impact the entire Elk Valley for years to come,” said District of Sparwood Mayor Cal McDougall.
Teck estimates that investment connected with this project will be approximately $60 million over five years. The project is estimated to generate a total GDP of $348 million as a result of construction, and $273 million in annual GDP over the course of operations. Teck projects that the extension will generate $213 million in annual average employment income in B.C. over the 29-year operations period.
“We’re very happy that Teck is moving forward with the extension. Teck is important to our town, our economy and our lifestyle. On behalf of the chamber, I’d like to congratulate Teck and wish the company great success with this significant project,” said Norma McDougall, manager of the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce.