Letter to the Editor: Natural Heritage

Over the course of the last century, our people have helped build communities, create jobs and responsibly develop resources.

This year marks Teck’s 100th anniversary and, over the course of the last century, our people have helped build communities, create jobs and responsibly develop resources across B.C.

Today, our employees still live and work in these communities, and they are dedicated to making sure that the vibrant economy and natural splendour of the places they live will be maintained for future generations. Those values have also shaped our approach to business over the years, and ingrained a deep commitment to responsible, sustainable resource development at Teck.

That’s why, when several blocks of private land in the Kootenays were recently offered for sale, we realized we had a unique opportunity to put those shared values into action on a large scale. To ensure that this land is protected, we have announced that Teck will invest $19 million to purchase three blocks totalling approximately 7,150 hectares in the Elk Valley and Flathead River Valley.

The three land blocks are the Grave Prairie site northeast of Sparwood, the Alexander Creek site east of Sparwood, and the Flathead Townsite southeast of Sparwood in the Upper Flathead region.

It’s important to emphasize – Teck is buying this land not for any future mining development, but to ensure that this key wildlife habitat in the Kootenays is conserved as a legacy now and for the future.

Each of these areas are important habitat for numerous wildlife and fish species, including grizzly bear, wolverine, badger, elk, lynx, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, as well as holding significant cultural value for the Ktunaxa Nation.

This purchase demonstrates how world class mining can facilitate world class environmental management. This investment represents one of the single biggest private sector investments in land conservation in British Columbia history.

In the months ahead, we will be having conversations with stakeholders and determining the specific management and stewardship approaches for these lands. But the most important step – securing the land for conservation– has been achieved with this investment.

And as the operator of five steelmaking coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley which directly employ over 4,000 people, we know how important it is we strike the right balance between the economy and environment of the region.

Investing to conserve this land was made possible by mining and, when combined with our ongoing work to reclaim mining areas as wildlife and fish habitat, it will help ensure we continue to strike that balance.

By working collaboratively with communities, First Nations and other stakeholders, we know we can achieve our shared goal of having both world-class mining and a world-class environment.

Marcia Smith

Senior Vice President, Sustainability & External Affairs