Canadian Mining Journal

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ZINC: Teck elects not to discharge Red Dog effluent into sea

ALASKA – Teck Resources of Vancouver and its subsidiary Teck Alaska, operator of the Red Dog zinc mine near Kotzebue, has studied and rejected the idea of building a effluent discharge line from the mine to the Chukchi Sea.


ALASKA – Teck Resources of Vancouver and its subsidiary Teck Alaska, operator of the Red Dog zinc mine near Kotzebue, has studied and rejected the idea of building a effluent discharge line from the mine to the Chukchi Sea.

Teck Alaska spent $1.7 million to conduct engineering, geotechnical, environmental and other studies examining various pipeline options. An underground pipe was deemed not technically feasibility because it would be vulnerable to breakage as the ground froze and melted seasonally. An above-ground option was not viable due to increased environmental risks, energy use, emissions, potential negative effects on the local caribou migration, and construction costs.

The pipeline study was mandated by a 2008 settlement agreement and consent decree that resolved litigation under the Clean Water Act. Teck Alaska agreed to study the pipeline options to a marine discharge point. Currently, water is treated at the mine site and released to Red Dog Creek.

Teck notified the court of its decision not to build the pipeline last week. The company will pay a civil penalty of $8 million in connection with its decision not to proceed.

Please visit RedDogAlaska.com for more information.