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Teck Resources sets nature positive goal

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Teck Resources Ltd is setting a goal to become a nature positive company, including through conserving or rehabilitating at least 3 ha. for every 1 ha. affected by its mining activities.

Teck is taking immediate action towards achieving this ambitious goal through land conservation investments that will protect 14 000 ha. of wildlife habitat and ecosystems in Canada and Chile. This is equivalent to over 40% of the company’s current mining footprint and equal to 35 Stanley Parks in Vancouver; 40 Central Parks in New York; more than twice the size of Manhattan; or 20 000 football fields.

“We are committed to working with local partners, communities and Indigenous Peoples to conserve ecologically and culturally significant lands and work towards the goal of becoming a nature positive mining company by 2030,” said Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck. “Nature loss is a serious global challenge that we are all called on to do our part to halt and reverse. Working towards being nature positive in each region we operate builds on Teck’s long-standing commitment to biodiversity and reflects the passion of our employees for caring for the land where they live and work.”

Teck’s new conservation initiatives announced protect 14 000 ha. and include:

  • CAN$2 million donation to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for the purchase and ongoing management of the nearly 8000 ha. Next Creek Watershed in the East Kootenays of British Columbia. Next Creek was the last remaining unprotected land within the Darkwoods Conservation Area and this purchase protects the ecological integrity of a conservation network that has national and international significance.
  • Donation to NCC of approximately 162 ha. of Teck-owned land in the Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor, also known as the Luke Creek Conservation Corridor, near Kimberley, British Columbia, and further donation of CAN$600 000 for the ongoing management of the land.
  • 5800 ha. of a unique and high-value wetland ecosystem near Teck’s Quebrada Blanca Operations in Chile will be protected in partnership with the Ollagüe Quechua community. Known as the Salar de Alconcha, or Alconcha Salt Flat, the lands are located northwest of the village of Ollagüe near the Bolivian border at 4123 m above sea level. The initiative is the first of its kind in Chile.
  • CAN$10 million to create an Indigenous Stewardship Fund that will support Indigenous communities and partners in the development of Indigenous-focused environmental stewardship initiatives as well as engagement, education, capacity-building and participation in support of conservation objectives in regions where Teck operates.
  • CAN$12 million in new funding to the NCC to support future high priority conservation projects in British Columbia, in addition to those announced.

The conservation investments announced build on Teck’s purchase of over 7000 ha. of private lands in the Elk and Flathead River Valleys of British Columbia, set aside for conservation. Teck’s purchase of these lands in 2013 was one of the single biggest private sector investments in land conservation in British Columbia history. In 2021, Teck and the Ktunaxa Nation announced the signing of a joint management agreement to ensure the protection of the area’s social, cultural and ecological value.

Nature positive by 2030

The World Economic Forum ranks biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse as one of the top threats humanity will face this decade, and global leaders, including the G7, are calling for the world to become both net zero and nature positive.

For Teck, working to become nature positive means that by 2030, its conservation, protection and restoration of land and biodiversity will exceed the disturbance caused by the company’s mining activities from a 2020 baseline. In doing so, Teck will conserve or rehabilitate at least 3 ha. for every 1 ha. affected by our mining activities, and take action immediately in three focus areas:

  • Nature positive decision making guided by Western science and Indigenous learning, including assessing the biodiversity impacts of the company’s actions and avoiding or minimising negative impacts where possible as part of planning.
  • Rehabilitation excellence to accelerate the pace of rehabilitation to ensure it is in progress for all eligible land impacted by mining at the company’s operations by 2030.
  • Conservation, protection and restoration through further partnerships, such as those announced. The conservation projects announced total 14 000 ha., equivalent to over 40% of Teck’s current mining footprint.

Recognising the global imperative to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and the critical role natural climate solutions can play in mitigating climate change, this commitment also supports Teck’s net-zero climate strategy and its contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Honourable Bruce Ralston, British Columbia Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, said: “I commend Teck on committing to conserve or rehabilitate at least 3 ha. for every 1 ha, affected by its mining activities. With this move, Teck is showing leadership in managing its operations in a manner that meets the environmental, social, and governance criteria investors, the public and the provincial government expect from companies.”

Thelma Ramos Mamani, President of the Quechua Indigenous Community of Ollague, added: "This project is a dream come true because we are making non-Indigenous People understand what it means to live in harmony, to thank the land and to conserve it. This type of project is being done for the first time in our country and we have seen the quality of the work of all the professionals. Mining also has human quality and above all they understand that this work of conservation is not only for the native peoples but for all humanity, it is to leave a true inheritance to our future generations so that they can preserve our territory.”

Catherine Grenier, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada, concluded: “We applaud Teck for taking real and measurable action to become a nature positive company by the end of the decade. Teck’s commitment to and investment in the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s work will help us accelerate the pace and scale of conservation in British Columbia. If we conserve entire natural systems, we help nature to deliver the essential services that support life. That’s why conservation matters. Teck is demonstrating that for-profit and non-profit organisations can come together to tackle the toughest ecological challenges of our time, biodiversity loss and climate change.”

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