Pit Design and Size

Design of the pit(s) must consider many complex factors, and Teck is still evaluating different options to balance environmental and social factors with operational, safety, and economic considerations.

  • Larger pits may support a longer mine life if they allow for more coal to be mined over time.
  • Larger pits also allow for creative opportunities to store waste rock as the pit develops. For example, there may be room to store waste rock in one part of the pit while mining in another part.
  • Design must also consider geological and geotechnical factors to ensure the pit’s size and shape is safe and stable.

As part of the pit size and design, Teck is considering two different mining techniques. Both have advantages and we may choose to use a combination of both options. Information is still being gathered and these options are currently being evaluated.


Open pit mining is typical of Teck’s coal mines in the Elk Valley. Mining mostly progresses from the top down through layers of coal and waste rock. Waste rock is taken out of the pit and placed in a different location. This is the most simple and operationally flexible technique.


Along strike mining progresses horizontally along layers of coal and waste rock. Waste rock is moved from one side of the pit to the other. This technique is more complicated but supports more flexible opportunities for progressive reclamation and keeps waste rock within the pit, proving the opportunity to reduce the overall disturbance footprint.

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