Waste Rock Storage

Waste rock is rock that has to be removed to allow coal to be mined. Detailed design and planning for waste rock storage will occur after the pit design is complete and the mining technique has been determined. Teck’s objectives for waste rock storage are to:

  • maximize storage of waste rock within mined out pit(s), and
  • avoid or minimize disturbance of watersheds that are not directly affected by existing mining activities.

Teck is committed to avoiding the placement of waste rock in the Fording River valley and the Chauncey Creek drainage. Specific locations for waste rock storage are still being considered. We are currently evaluating a combination of three options, as described below.


Option 1

The Kilmarnock Creek drainage runs along the north side of Castle Mountain and contains past and current waste rock storage areas from Fording River Operations. The upper portion of the drainage area has not been directly affected by mining.

  • This option would require a low level of new disturbance as long as the unaffected upper portion of the drainage is avoided.
  • The location of the Kilmarnock drainage is close to the north end of the Fording River Extension (FRX) area, so the distance to truck waste rock between the pit and the storage area would be relatively short in the early years of the Project. This has a benefit for fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. However, the distance would increase in later years as the pit develops.

Option 2

Another option is to store waste rock in another pit at Fording River Operations. When mining in the Eagle Pit is complete, Teck could store waste rock from FRX in this pit. This approach is called “backfilling” the pit.

  • Backfilling Eagle Pit would require moderate haul distances early in the Project, increasing in later years.
  • Water from Eagle Pit would flow to the Kilmarnock Creek drainage.
  • This option would not require any additional terrestrial disturbance.

Option 3

The third option is to store, or backfill, waste rock from FRX into the FRX area pit(s). This option provides numerous benefits, but would not be possible until there is sufficient space in the pit.

  • Short distances to haul waste rock will benefit fuel consumption and related emissions.
  • No additional terrestrial disturbance would be required.


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