Explosion closes Teck coal mine in B.C.

Vancouver-based Teck Resources said Tuesday an explosion in a coal dryer at its Greenhills coal mine near Elkford, B.C., will "certainly" impact coal production there, but it's too early to tell how long a shutdown will last.

Firm will take days to access damage

Vancouver-based Teck Resources said Tuesday an explosion in a coal dryer at its Greenhills coal mine near Elkford, B.C., will "certainly" impact coal production there, but it's too early to tell how long a shutdown will last. 

Company spokesman Greg Waller said Tuesday that it will take several days to assess the extent of the damage and how it will affect production.

Teck 3-month chart

"We do have some options we can look at to mitigate the loss of coal production," he told The Canadian Press.

Four employees were treated for smoke inhalation after the explosion on Monday afternoon.

The company said damage to the dryer building is extensive and the blast also caused a brush fire, which was brought under control.

Teck shares closed down $1.91, or 5.7 per cent, to $31.77 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Tuesday.

Teck has an 80 per cent interest in the Greenhills mine, which plans to produce 4.3 million tonnes of metallurgical coal this year, with Teck's share at 3.4 million tonnes.

Teck is Canada's largest publicly traded miner, with major zinc, copper and steelmaking coal operations. The company is a big exporter to Asia of coal used in steel industry blast furnaces.

With files from The Canadian Press