Teck Cominco Limited

Teck Cominco Limited

May 18, 2006 14:30 ET

Teck Cominco Extends Sympathies to Sullivan Reclamation Site Victims

Company providing its full support to Inspector of Mines as investigation continues

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - May 18, 2006) - Teck Cominco (TSX:TEK.MV.A)(TSX:TEK.SV.B) wishes to extend its most sincere sympathies to the families of contractor Doug Erickson, paramedics Kim Weitzel and Shawn Currier, and our employee Bob Newcombe.

"Teck Cominco joins with the community of Kimberley in mourning this tragic loss of life," said Don Lindsay, President and CEO of Teck Cominco Ltd. "We share the profound sadness of their loss."

Teck Cominco is providing all necessary resources to support BC's Inspector of Mines in his investigation and is working with him and all authorities.

The Sullivan mine was closed on December 21, 2001 and has since been in the decommissioning process to restore the site when yesterday's incident occurred.

The site of the incident is located adjacent to a waste rock pile. Water seeping through the waste rock pile flows into a drainage collection system at the base of the pile and into a sampling station located in a small shed. The water flows through a pipe and into a concrete basin in the building, where water quality and flow rates are measured. The water then flows through a pipe to the treatment plant. Water at this station has been routinely sampled on a monthly basis for several years during operation and throughout the reclamation process.

The Chief Mines Inspector has confirmed that the interior of the sampling station was oxygen deprived. The cause is not yet known. The hazard area is localized and it has been determined that there is no risk to the adjacent community.

Doug Erickson, an environmental consultant was conducting routine monthly monitoring at the water sampling station at the mine, work that he had performed for over 10 years. Teck Cominco was contacted by Mr. Erickson's spouse and notified that he had not returned. Teck Cominco immediately began a search for the consultant. Shortly thereafter, Teck Cominco employee Bob Newcombe found Mr. Erickson, called 911 and, in an apparent attempt to assist him, was himself overcome. Paramedics Kim Weitzel and Shawn Currier attended the scene and each in turn attempted to rescue the previous victims and succumbed in the process.

Teck Cominco continues to cooperate fully and assist with the investigation, which is being led by the Chief Mine Inspector.

Contact Information

  • Teck Cominco Limited
    Irene Tidd
    (604) 844-2523
    Teck Cominco Limited
    Nicola Lambrechts
    (604) 970-9113