The project, which doubles the capacity of the water treatment system to about 20 million litres daily, is now in the ramp-up phase.
Elkview's SRF has been removing selenium and nitrate nearly completely from up to 10 million litres of water per day since 2018; it is part of Teck's ongoing work with the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan (EVWQP), aimed at maintaining watershed health in the region. Selenium concentrations are reduced by more than 95%.
It is the second treatment facility the miner has completed in Elk Valley, and two more facilities are under construction at sister complex Fording River.
Teck plans to reach its goal of treating up to 47.5 million litres per day, about 2.5 times its 2020 capacity for water treatment, later this year.
"Teck's use of saturated rock fills to treat mine-affected water is leading-edge sustainable technology," said Dr. Lisa Kirk, affiliate professor at Montana State University's Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and principal biogeochemist at Enviromin, which helped develop saturated rock fill technology.
"Saturated rock fill is extremely effective at removing selenium and nitrate from mine-affected water and improving water quality."
Teck's coal SVP Robin Sheremeta added: "The completion of the Elkview Saturated Rock Fill expansion is another important step forward in the implementation of the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan. We continue to make significant progress in advancing the plan and reducing selenium levels throughout the watershed."
Elkview is located just east of Sparwood in southeastern British Columbia. Teck has a 95% partnership interest, with the remaining 5% indirectly held equally by Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation and POSCO.