Teck Resources Ltd. [TECK.B-TSX; TECK.A-TSX; TECK-NYSE) said Monday February 3 that it wants to be carbon neutral across all of its operations and activities by 2050. It said the move is part of the company’s commitment to climate action and responsible resource development.
Teck Resources is a diversified resource company with business units focused on steelmaking coal, copper, zinc and energy. The company currently has interests in 13 operating mines, a large metallurgical complex and several major development projects in the Americas.
On Monday, Teck said the carbon neutrality plan demonstrates its support of the transition to a low-carbon economy and worldwide efforts to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increases. “It also aligns with commitments by Canada and Chile – which are home to the majority of Teck’s operations – to be carbon neutral by 2050,” the company said in a press release.
Teck is pledging its commitment to climate action following reports that the Canadian Federal Government is just weeks away from having to make a decision on an Alberta oilsands operation known as the Frontier Project. The project is owned by Teck.
Located between Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan in northeastern Alberta, Frontier is truly large. The $20 billion truck and shovel oil sands mine is expected to produce 260,000 barrels per day of bitumen, while delivering $55 billion in provincial royalties and taxes over a projected lifespan of 41 years. The project is also expected to generate $12 billion in federal income and capital taxes.
In deciding whether or not to approve Frontier, Ottawa will need to weigh the impact of such a large project on both the environment and its greenhouse gas commitments. It is expected the project will cover an area about half the size of Edmonton, potentially adding 4.1 mega-tonnes annually to Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is at a time when Canada is trying to reduce its carbon impact.
With a decision expected before the end of February, Ottawa will also need to be mindful of the economic impact on Alberta where the population is still feeling the impact of the drop in oil prices and the lack of progress on key pipeline projects.
Frontier is expected to employ up to 7,000 people during peak construction and 2,500 while it is in operation. Therefore, any decision to proceed will be applauded in places like Edmonton, which currently has the largest unemployment rate of any major city in the country.
Teck has said it is committed to developing the Frontier Project responsibly, by incorporating best practices for environmental protection, tailings management, water use, reclamation and management of greenhouse gases.
“Setting the objectives to be carbon neutral by 2050 is an important step forward in our commitment to reducing emissions and taking action on climate change,” said Teck President and CEO Don Lindsay.
“Climate change is a global challenge that our company and our industry need to contribute to solving,” he said. “We will pursue the technologies and measures necessary to reduce carbon emissions across our business, while continuing to responsibly provide the metals and minerals necessary for the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Teck said it has set out an initial roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by first avoiding emissions and then eliminating or minimizing emissions. “This will include looking at alternative ways of moving materials at our mines, using cleaner power sources, and implementing efficiency improvements, among other measures, the company said.
The Vancouver-based company said it is also investing in the metals needed for the transition to a low-carbon economy by significantly increasing copper production through the construction of the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 Project in Chile.
Copper is an essential material for low-carbon technology, including electric vehicles and renewable power generation.
On Monday, Teck’s Class B common shares advanced 0.70% or $0.12 to $17.22. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $16.85 and $34.24.