British Columbia

Company proposing enormous oilsands project aims to be 'carbon neutral' by 2050

Vancouver-based Teck Resources, which is proposing to build the massive Frontier oilsands mine in northeastern Alberta, has set a target to be "carbon neutral" by 2050.

Vancouver-based Teck Resources is waiting for decision on Frontier oilsands mine in Alberta

A smokestack at the Teck Mining Company's zinc and lead smelting and refining complex in Trail, B.C., on Nov. 26, 2012. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The Vancouver-based mining company proposing to build the massive Frontier oilsands mine in northeastern Alberta has set a target to be "carbon neutral" by 2050.

Teck Resources Ltd., which is awaiting a decision from the federal government on Frontier, says it will try to achieve its goal by first avoiding creating emissions and then eliminating or minimizing them.

It says it will look at alternative ways of moving materials at its mines, using cleaner power sources and implementing efficiency measures.

Teck is also vowing to produce more metals needed for the transition to a low-carbon economy, including copper for electric vehicles and renewable power generation.

Teck separately announced Monday it and its partners have signed a long-term power purchase agreement for their new copper mining project in Chile which will result in about half of its operating power needs being satisfied by renewable energy sources.

The Frontier oilsands mine is a proposed open-pit operation, located between Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan, pictured above, in northeast Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Last week, Teck CEO Don Lindsay said winning federal approval for the Frontier project doesn't necessarily mean it will be built — the company will also need adequate pipeline access, the right commodity prices and a partner to share the costs.

"Setting the objective to be carbon neutral by 2050 is an important step forward in our commitment to reducing emissions and taking action on climate change," Lindsay said Monday in a news release.

"Climate change is a global challenge that our company and our industry need to contribute to solving. 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 owns 21.3 per cent of the Fort Hills oilsands mining project operated by Suncor Energy Inc.

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