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Welcome to the Fording River Extension Newsletter, a newsletter designed to provide you with updates and information on the Fording River Extension Project. 

About Fording River Extension 

The Fording River Extension 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 and 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. 

Visit the Fording River Extension Website to learn more, contribute your feedback and register for updates.
 
Fording River Extension Project Website

Fording River Extension Assessment Process 

Detailed Project Description Submission

The Detailed Project Description (DPD) for the Fording River Extension (FRX) Project was submitted to the BC Environmental Assessment Office on July 29, 2021. The submission ends the Early Engagement Phase of the coordinated environmental assessment (EA) process and marks the start of the EA Readiness Decision phase. The DPD builds on the Initial Project Description and includes a description of the Project, feedback received through the Early Engagement Phase, as well as technical studies and engagement efforts that have been advanced to date. The DPD is used by the BC Environmental Assessment Office to inform consensus seeking activities with Indigenous Peoples and the EA Readiness decision, which would confirm whether the Project is ready to enter into the EA process. Similarly, the DPD will be used by the Impact Assessment Agency to inform their Notice of Determination, which confirms a federal assessment is required. 

Following the completion of these key provincial and federal decisions, The Project would formally enter into the Process Planning stage of the assessment process. Process Planning will establish the process, scope and requirements for the assessment. The assessment process is expected to take several years and will include multiple, opportunities for public participation and input. Part of the Process Planning stage includes a formal public comment period. Public input can be given directly to Teck at any time.

Read the FRX Detailed Project Description

Supporting Local 

Ktunaxa Business: Proactive Safety & First Aid

The Fording River Extension (FRX) Project's development and coordinated assessment process is supported by a variety of local contractors. ProActive Safety & First Aid is a proud Ktunaxa owned business committed to providing professional safety services. ProActive is based in Cranbrook British Columbia and provides services throughout the East Kootenays.

ProActive was started in 2019 by owner, Mike Nicholas. Mike was motivated to start ProActive through his attention to, and desire for, safety over his 10 years of experience in the world of mining. Although ProActive is a new business it is growing exponentially. Mike credits the amount of return customers, and referrals to the quality of the staff he employs. “The quality of work and of our people are directly tied to our success. Our employees are the face of our company and they go out and do a terrific job. Their efforts have contributed to the growing demand for our services.” ProActive staff are hired from local communities including Cranbrook, Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford, Kimberly, and the Ktunaxa Nation.

ProActive has been working with Teck since the company’s inception and has been a part of a variety of Teck projects including environmental compliance and reclamation efforts. This is their second season working with the FRX Project supporting the seasonal base line studies done on site. Baseline studies are a key component of the Project’s coordinated environmental assessment and help provide an informed basis for the prediction of environmental effects.

ProActive provides the FRX site with medics during the field season. Medics are on site 24 hours a day and are there to provide any necessary immediate medical treatment. Mike, who has worked closely with Teck since starting ProActive, noted the significance of Teck to the growth of his business. “Teck has been absolutely terrific in this business getting off the ground. Even now I would say 70% of the work we do is with Teck.” Being a Ktunaxa business, Mike has a direct connection with Teck’s Indigenous Economic Development lead, who helps promote ProActive business internally throughout Teck. The opportunity for ProActive to showcase their offerings through Teck projects has been a major support in the company’s growth and a contributor to the influx of new business with Teck and beyond through word of mouth recommendations.

Health and Safety is a core value and priority at Teck; nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people. Teck’s safety standards combined with ProActive’s high quality services work together to ensure everyone goes home from the FRX site safe and healthy every day. 

To learn more about ProActive and their services: 

 Visit www.proactivesafety.com  

Or call 250-581-6955 

Learn More About Teck's Commitment to Safety

Fording River Extension Wood Donations

In summer 2020, the Fording River Extension (FRX)
Project used timber to build temporary helipads in the Project area. The helicopters that utilized the helipads were a part of exploration programs in the Early Engagement stage of the Project. At the end of the helicopter exploration program the
platforms were disassembled and the wood was donated to local recreational user groups including:

  • Elkford TrailsTemporary helipad for FRX exploration programs Alliance 
  • Elkford ATV Club 
  • Elkford Snowmobile Club 
  • Fernie Trails Alliance 
  • Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club 
  • Sparwood Trails Alliance 
     

These groups were able to use the donated wood for various projects including, bridge improvements, features in mountain bike skills parks, access ramps, sign upgrades, maintenance storage solutions and a variety of other trail maintenance projects. 

Murray Haight, the Director of the Elkford ATV Club, recognized Teck’s contribution in making trail improvements saying, “having the amount of wood to work with is like having a healthy bank account.” He went on to explain that the Elkford clubs were working together to distribute the wood among priority projects. A group of volunteers from the Elkford ATV Club used some of the donated wood to repair the ramp section of a local bridge that was badly damaged. The bridge is on a multi-use trail and is a favourite for many different activities in the area. “The bridge is much sturdier and safer for all thanks to the club volunteers and the wood Teck donated” stated Justin Carambetsos, the President of the Elkford ATV Club.  

Ben Martin, Trails Manager with the Fernie Trails Alliance noted that they have only used half of the wood donation so far and have already fully completed 7 projects in the area. With the amount of wood left from the donation they have the ability to complete even more projects to improve the Fernie trails for all the people that use them. One of these recent projects was in collaboration with the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club. The wood was used to build a deck to support a sea can as a rebuild of the Harvey Pass warming hut, which was lost to forest fire. 

The Sparwood Trails Alliance was able to use over half of the donated wood in 2021 and is looking forward to using the rest for 2022 projects. “The Sparwood Trails Alliance board is very grateful for all of the support from Teck and looks forward to additional engagement in the future.” 

Collaborating with our local communities and recreational clubs is a key priority to Teck and the FRX team. Many Teck employees live, work and play in the Elk Valley, and the continued use of our trails is important to us. 

Over 360 km of local trails are maintained between the Fernie, Sparwood, and Elkford Trails Alliance groups. To learn more or to donate to the upkeep of our local trails visit:

Fernie: www.fernietrailsalliance.com  

Sparwood: https://sparwoodtrailsalliance.ca/  

Elkford: https://elkfordtrails.com/eta/   


Our People

Meet Dwayne (DJ) Formanski, Engineer in Training - FRX Project

DJ is an Engineer in Training (EIT) on the Fording River Extension Project. He started with Teck shortly after graduating from the University of Alberta. Before working with the FRX Project, DJ worked at Fording River Operations in Long Range Planning. Now his role on the FRX Project is to support the construction of mine plans that are safe and executable. Mine planners must consider steelmaking coal seams, routes for machinery, safe extraction of steelmaking coal, location for any rock that is not coal, and much more. 

One of the key components of mine planning is the pre-development landform considerations. These are essential for the environmental assessment process because they examine the boundaries and footprint of a proposed project. Landform considerations include how to approach the topography and stratigraphy of the Project area. Topography looks at how steep the terrain is and how challenging it can be to get equipment access to the coal. Hundreds of meters of elevation change can equate to kilometers of road to accommodate for the maximum safest grade for the trucks. Stratigraphy examines how the rock is layered. The layers are an important consideration in locating the coal seams.  

DJ’s work is informed by the continuous addition of information gathered throughout the environmental assessment. “My personal goal on the Project is to create mine plans that successfully accomplish goals of sustainability, geotechnical stability, and mine production.” 



"The really fun part of mine engineering is balancing so many potential inputs and outcomes to create a vision of the future for the business that is safe, profitable, and environmentally responsible."
- DJ Formanski, Engineer in Training - FRX Project

Teck in the Elk Valley

Access Return at Fording River Opertions, Elkview Operations, and Coal Mountain Mine

Over the years, our engagement with outdoor recreationalists (hunters, ATV users, hikers, guides, anglers) has highlighted the importance of public land access. We understand that Teck Operations in the Elk Valley have impacted certain access to these lands.  

This year we have reviewed and updated the No-Unauthorized Entry Boundaries at our Fording River and Elkview Operations, as well as the closed Coal Mountain mine, in order to release land back for public use while maintaining safety of the public and our employees. We are currently reviewing additional access opportunities at our Greenhills and Line Creek Operations. 

You can view the changes at Fording River Operations below. For more information see the 2021-2022 Elk Valley Access Maps. 

The FRX Project area is generally within the Chauncey Todhunter Access Management Area. There have been no changes to the management of access by the Ministry of Environment BC.   

View 2021 Access Maps

Register for Project Updates 


Looking for updates and announcements about the Fording River Extension (FRX) Project in between newsletters? The FRX Website provides updates and announcements about the Project and related activities in the Elk Valley.
 
To learn more, receive regularly updated information, and contribute your comments and feedback, please register on the Fording River Extension Website.
Register

What do you want to learn more about?


Get involved and make your opinion known. From regulatory process to environmental studies, let the
FRX team know what's important to you, and what areas you would like more information on. 

Visit the Fording River Extension website to learn more and participate in our poll.
 

Get in Touch

The Project is committed to working with all of our Communities of Interest including 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 Fording River Extension 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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