In new decade Teck to improve productivity, lower costs

Here come the 2020s: Castlegar News asked local leaders to offer their thoughts on the new decade.

Teck Trail Operations communications head Carol Vanelli Worosz looks ahead to the way the company will try to remain globally competitive in the new decade.

Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with business units focused on copper, zinc, steelmaking coal and energy.

Locally, the history of Teck Trail Operations dates back to 1896, when a small copper-gold smelter was built to support mines in Rossland. Today, we are one of the world’s largest fully integrated zinc and lead smelting and refining complexes. We source mine concentrates from all over the world and convert them into products that support modern day life. Our operation is an integrated part of Teck’s broader zinc business, and the primary refiner for concentrates from our Red Dog mine in Alaska.

At Teck, safety is a core value and we are committed to everyone going home safe and healthy every day. All employees and contractors are expected to be leaders in health and safety, and we are working together to continuously improve our safety metrics.

As an industry leader, our commitment to environmental performance aligns with provincial, national and global best practices and we are continually working to enhance our performance. Since the late 1970s, $1.5 billion has been invested in a modernization program to improve our operational and environmental performance.

Recent examples of this are the No.1 and No. 2 acid plants representing an investment of over $300 million, the $40 million smelter recycle building and the $1.9 million wind fence at the roaster feed pad. As a result, emissions to air and water have been reduced by over 95 per cent. The annual average for lead in community air was the lowest ever recorded in 2018, and 2019 was on track to equal or better that performance.

Teck Trail Operations is assessing a variety of potential technologies to continue to modernize throughout our site, and we are focused on remaining competitive and viable over the long-term. To achieve this, we are looking at new and innovative ways to improve productivity while also enhancing safety and sustainability.

RACE21 is Teck’s integrated innovation-driven efficiency program that looks across the full value chain from mine to product. RACE21 leverages existing, proven technology to improve productivity and lower costs with a focus on delivering significant value by 2021. Teck Trail Operations will continue to identify more opportunities to upgrade our technology infrastructure.

Teck Trail Operations is proud to be part of the Lower Columbia region, providing approximately $191 million in wages and salaries and $150 million in the purchase of local goods and services annually. We also fund over 140 local organizations through our community investment program to support arts and culture, education and scholarships, environmental initiatives, health and wellness, sports and recreation, economic development and community development projects.

Along with our 1,400 employees living in Trail, Rossland, Warfield, Castlegar, Fruitvale, Montrose and the surrounding areas, we extend our best wishes for a safe and prosperous New Year — and the 2020 decade.

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