August 12th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 31
Teck extends Cougar Pit and Coal Mountain extension updates
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
Upon request for updates on Coal Mountain Phase 2 (which is in the early stages of its environmental assessment process) and on the proposed Cougar Pit Extension (proposed to extend the life of Greenhills Operations) Teck has offered the Elk Valley Herald the following updates:

Coal Mountain Phase 2:
Teck is seeking approval from the provincial and federal governments to extend the working life of Coal Mountain Operations with the proposed Coal Mountain Phase 2 project. As part of the government regulatory process, Teck is conducting an Environmental Assessment for the project.

A Coal Mountain Phase 2 open house was hosted by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office on June 4, 2015 in the Hosmer Community Hall and was attended by 40 members of the public. The open house was an opportunity for members of the public to find out about the areas to be studied in the Environmental Assessment and to provide feedback.

This is the first of two public open houses that will be held for Coal Mountain Phase 2 under the B.C. Environmental Assessment process. The second will be held in 2016, after the Environmental Assessment application has been submitted.

Subject to regulatory approval, mining at Coal Mountain Phase 2 could start in late 2017 and would extend the life of the mine by approximately 34 years. Coal Mountain employs 330 people, of whom 72% live in the Crowsnest Pass and Elk Valley area.
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Nic Milligan, Manager of Community and Aboriginal Affairs, said, “It is very important for us as a company to hear from the community as we develop our project. Events such as the open house offer us the chance to hear what people have to say about the proposed project so that we can use their comments to inform our planning.”

Questions at the open house included public access to backcountry areas around the project; effects on wildlife and water; and the cumulative impact of industries in the Elk Valley.

Feedback heard in the May-June public consultation period for Coal Mountain included, for example, a concern from Ryland Nelson, Wildsight’s Southern Rockies Program Manager, who offered that “Wildsight is concerned that Fish Habitat was not selected as a Valued Component,” noting the loss of fish habitat has resulted from past Elk Valley mining operations. In addition, he voiced concern for the project’s “potential impacts on wildlife connectivity within the Michel Creek corridor.” With these concerns stated, however, he also lauded Teck for both a number of the Value Components the company did lay out in the proposal and the rationale used in selecting them.
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Cougar Pit Extension Project:
Teck is proposing the Cougar Pit Extension project to maintain existing production and employment at Greenhills Operations near Elkford and extend the life of the operations through to 2029.

For this project, Greenhills Operations requires amendments to its Mines Act and Environmental Management Act permits. The permitting process is through the Mine Review Committee, which includes regulatory and First Nations members.

Teck is committed to ongoing engagement with Elkford residents, the District of Elkford, local recreational groups, First Nations and other interested groups.

The Cougar Pit Extension project has been formally introduced to the Mine Review Committee, and Teck has also held a meeting with District of Elkford, a public information session at Elkford’s Wildcat Days and sent a mail out to all residents in Elkford.

Nic Milligan, Manager of Community and Aboriginal Affairs, said, “The goal of the Cougar Pit Extension project is to maintain existing employment and production at our Greenhills Operations. We are committed to keeping the community informed about the Project and the mitigation measures planned to minimize any local effects.”
August 12th ~ Vol. 85 No. 31
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