Baldy Ridge Extension Project
The Baldy Ridge project is an extension of the current Teck Elkview operations open-pit coal mine overlooking the District of Sparwood. Citing concerns over how a coal mine is changing the local landscape and impacting air quality, Sparwood is challenging the extension with respect to air quality and dust management at the existing facility and proposed expansion.
The mine expansion on their doorstep has prompted them to look at livability more closely. See the proximity of the mine extension with respect to the community in the map below.
The project will mine approximately 153 million metric tonnes of clean coal and will extend the overall life of the Elkview mine by about 23 years, until 2045. Teck and supporting politicians are detailing that the extension is expected to create the following employment opportunities:
– Approximately 1,652 person-years of direct on-site employment over the six-year construction period.
– Approximately 4,043 person-years of total employment in B.C. in the Crowsnest Pass over the six-year construction period.
– Approximately 31,304 person-years of direct on-site employment over the 29-year operations period.
– Between 10 and 20 direct positions during the closure and reclamation stage.
– Teck estimates that the project will also continue to sustain the workforce of approximately 1,000 people at the existing Elkview operation.
Teck estimates that the project’s initial capital cost for construction will be $600 million for the six-year construction period. 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.
Earlier this year the BC provincial government fined Teck Resources $37,500 for emitting excessive air-borne pollution from its Elkview coal operations outside of Sparwood.
The proposed expansion continues and the quality of life issues will only expand with the Baldy Ridge extension moving the operationsd closer to the residential neighbourhoods in the District of Sparwood. Exposure to coal mine dust causes various pulmonary diseases, including coal workers’ pneumoconiosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the past these health issues were accepted. Times are changing however Sparwood is a mining town and this is their sole economy.
For details on the extension see the ASSESSMENT REPORT here: Baldy Ridge Extension Project Assessment Report