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Welcome to Castle Project Connector, a newsletter designed to provide you with updates and information on the Castle Project. 

What's New 
 

Castle Project Website Launches 


The Castle Project website is now live. On the site, you can find information about the Castle Project, how we are advancing the environmental assessment and engaging with local communities and Indigenous Peoples. 

We will be updating information regularly and listening to your comments and feedback as the Project progresses. To learn more, please register to the Castle Project site.

Register for Project Updates


Baseline Studies Underway 


Specialized teams are collecting information about the environmental conditions in and around the area of the proposed Castle Project area. Extensive fieldwork has been underway since 2018 to provide baseline information for our environmental assessment application. Here are just a few highlights from the work being undertaken:
 

Ecosystems and Vegetation
 
We are completing field surveys to map the ecosystems present in the Castle Project area. Vegetation surveys document the presence of native plants and plant communities. We are also conducting bioterrain and soil surveys, all of which will help inform land cover and opportunities for future reclamation.

Fish and Fish Habitat
 
We have completed fish and fish habitat sampling on the watercourses draining from the Project Area. This work helps confirm habitats accessible to fish and to document existing stream conditions. We have also assessed fish abundance and distribution in those streams draining into the upper Fording River, and on Chauncey and Kilmarnock creeks, with targeted spawner surveys occurring in Chauncey Creek in 2020. An Instream Flow Study is also being conducted on the Upper Fording River and Chauncey Creek to support the evaluation of how Project-related changes in flow may affect fish and fish habitat.

Hydrogeology
 
Spring and fall flow studies have been completed in Chauncey Creek to help understand interactions between groundwater and surface water, with additional studies planned through the upcoming seasons. The hydrogeology program has also included the installation of five groundwater monitoring wells in the Fording River valley bottom which are being monitored to characterize groundwater quantity and quality. We are also monitoring bedrock exploration boreholes in the Project Area. Additional monitoring wells are planned for the Chauncey Creek drainage, to be installed later in 2020.

Wildlife
Wildlife field investigations have been conducted to document wildlife communities including for breeding songbirds, riverine birds, amphibians, and mammals (including bats), as well as targeted surveys for species of conservation concern including American badgers, northern goshawks, and the Gillette’s checkerspot butterfly.
 

Castle Project Receives Federal Designation 


On August 19, 2020, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada announced the decision to designate the Castle Project for review under the Impact Assessment Act. Based on this decision, the Castle Project will be subject to federal review that will focus on areas of federal interest. This review is in addition to the provincial environmental assessment process currently underway.

The Castle Project will work with the EAO and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada to ensure a coordinated review.

Learn more about the Minister's decision here.  

Did You Know? 

We're Helping Grow the Economy


Teck’s steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley employs more than 4,000 people and many more indirectly. The Castle Project will extend the life of Fording River Operations by several decades, which currently employs about 1,400 people, many of whom live in the Elk Valley.

In 2019, the overall economic contributions of Teck's steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley amounted to nearly $3.9 billion, including wages to employees, taxes and our investments back into the community. Nearly a third of the $3.9 billion stemmed from Teck's Fording River Operations.

Learn more about our economic contributions here.
 
Teck’s Approach to Biodiversity 

We aim to avoid, minimize or restore negative impacts on biodiversity in our operations, and we further challenge ourselves to working towards securing a net positive impact on biodiversity. 

As part of this work, we begin planning for responsible mine closure before mining even starts, and that work carries on throughout the Project lifecycle. 

To learn more about how the Castle Project is already considering these environmental components visit the Castle Project website.


"We simply will not start a project unless we are first confident that we can responsibly close and rehabilitate it when mining is finished. That is an important part of who we are as a company, and it is a commitment our employees are proud to work hard to uphold."
- Don Lindsay, President and CEO
Learn more about Teck's approach to biodiversity in the Elk Valley
We've Joined ResponsibleSteel™ 

Steel is an essential building block for society and Teck is committed to responsible production of steelmaking coal and zinc, which are both important inputs to the steelmaking process.

ResponsibleSteel is the industry’s first global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative dedicated to defining and promoting responsible practice.

In June 2020, Teck joined ResponsibleSteelTM as part of our commitment to collaborating with our customers and mining peers to further improve environmental and social performance across the industry.  


Meet Jutta Hoppe, Water Quality Scientist 


With water quality management as such a critical focus area for the Castle Project, Jutta Hoppe's role as Water Quality Lead for the Castle Project is critical.

Jutta is a geochemist based in the Elk Valley and is responsible for the development of a Water Management Plan and key water quality modelings that are used to assess and plan for mitigation of potential impacts to water quality. Establishing the link between Teck's regional water quality programs and the Castle Project is another important aspect of Jutta's role. 

"My main goal is not only planning for mitigation of any potential impacts to water quality but exploring water management and other measures to reduce the Project's impact to water quality and our reliance on treatment in the first place" says Jutta. 

Because water quality management is of the utmost importance to the Castle Project, Teck includes water quality considerations and a feedback cycle for mine planning early in the Project design. An important part of Jutta's role as Water Quality Lead is to provide feedback and input on water quality management to mine planning, Social and Environmental Regulatory Approvals, and other disciplines of the Castle Project. One aspect of this feedback comes from engaging early and intensively with our communities of interest and incorporating those ideas and feedback into the Project's water quality approach.


"I strongly believe that working together as a team, we can develop the best achievable solution to mine economically and prevent, reduce, and mitigate any potential impacts to water quality."
- Jutta Hoppe, Water Quality Scientist, Sparwood British Columbia
About the Castle Project 
 
The Castle Project is a proposed extension of Teck’s existing Fording River steelmaking coal mine located in the East Kootenay region in southeastern British Columbia. The Project represents an opportunity to extend the lifespan of our existing Fording River Operations and maintain the jobs and economic benefits generated by the operation in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. 

What do you want to learn more about? 


Get involved and make your opinion known. From regulatory process to environmental studies, let the Castle Project team know the important areas you want more information on by going to the Castle Project website and participating in our poll
 

Get in Touch 

The Project is committed to working with all of our Communities of Interest that is Indigenous Peoples, regulators and the public, both during and after the environmental assessment process, to understand and respond to issues and interests regarding the Project.


Insights from engagement can inform Project design, siting, and alternative approaches to developing the Project. During this phase, we will also seek to identify additional Communities of Interest and preferred methods of engagement.

Register on the Castle Project website to be the first to know about future engagements. As the Project advances through the regulatory process, you are invited to submit comments and feedback on the Project by:

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