VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2010) - Teck Resources Limited (TSX: TCK.A and TCK.B, NYSE: TCK) announced today that Teck Alaska is proceeding with development of the Aqqaluk Deposit at its Red Dog Mine. Teck's decision to proceed with Aqqaluk follows discussions with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning the status of the renewal of Red Dog's main water discharge permit, and an internal review of Teck's operating plans for the deposit.
"Our discussions with EPA have been constructive, and after carefully considering the environment, our employees and local communities, we are proceeding with Aqqaluk," said Mike Agg, Senior Vice President, Zinc. "We will continue to maintain a water discharge that is protective of water quality and the environment."
Teck Alaska has the necessary permits and authorizations in place to develop Aqqaluk. In 2010, a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) conducted by EPA concluded that the proposed discharge limits contained in a new water discharge permit for Red Dog were protective of the environment. There is an outstanding administrative appeal of certain conditions of the new water discharge permit. In response to the appeal, EPA has withdrawn five contested limitations in the permit and has stated its intent to conduct an updated permit proceeding once certain procedural matters are addressed.
The appeal of the 2010 water discharge permit and the withdrawal of the contested limits do not affect the Aqqaluk development. Until the appeals of the 2010 water discharge permit are resolved, and EPA's proposed 2010 permit limits are in full effect, Teck will be subject to the applicable limits in its 1998 permit. As previously disclosed, these limits include a limit on total dissolved solids which cannot feasibly be met through any existing treatment technology at the volumes being discharged. Teck will discharge water in accordance with the court-approved interim discharge limits contained in a 2008 settlement agreement, which correspond to the limits found in the SEIS to be protective of the environment.
Teck believes there is a viable plan in place to resolve the 2010 permit appeal and will continue to work with regulators moving forward.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and forward-looking information as defined in the Securities Act (Ontario). Forward-looking statements and information include statements regarding Teck's expectations regarding Teck's plans for the operation of Aqqaluk and the resolution of permitting appeals and Teck's expectations regarding 2010 Red Dog production. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Teck to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
Factors that may cause actual results to vary include, but are not limited to, potential regulatory actions in respect of the operation of Red Dog, further challenges to permitting of the mine by non-governmental organizations or other parties, or unanticipated operational difficulties including failure of plant or equipment.
Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, steelmaking coal, zinc and energy. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TCK.A and TCK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TCK. Further information about Teck can be found at www.teck.com.