Line Creek Expansion Keeps Long-Term Jobs In Elk Valley

Opportunity: Mining in the BC Rockies

  • The production value of mining in 2012 was $8.3 billion - in 2001 it was $2.8 billion. This is a significant contribution to BC's economy, which helps pay for health care and education throughout the province.

  • In 2012, more than 30,000 people were employed in mining, mineral exploration and related sectors.

  • Eight new mines will open and nine will be expanded by 2015. This will result in:

    • An increase in annual mine-operation revenue by $1.6 billion.

    • Approximately 2,000 jobs during construction.

    • 2,000 new direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs during the operating life of the mine.

    • Sustain 12,500 existing jobs (5,000 direct and 7,500 indirect).

    • Over $150 million annually in government revenue.

  • Five of the top six mines (ranked by revenue) are located in the Elk Valley and together represent $5.4 billion in total revenue.

Project: Line Creek Coal Mine Phase 2 Extension

Employer: Teck
Value: $62 million

  • Line Creek is located approximately 25 km north of Sparwood in southeastern British Columbia. Line Creek supplies steelmaking and thermal coal to a variety of international and domestic customers.

  • Line Creek Coal Mine has received approval to move into the $62-million Phase 2 extension of their mining operations. This will extend the mine life by 18 years until 2032, keeping approximately 500 full-time people working at the mine.

  • Line Creek produces metallurgical coal used to manufacture steel. The Phase 2 project will produce an estimated 3.5 million metric tonnes of clean coal per year, and a total of 59 million metric tonnes over its mine life.

  • The expansion includes two open pits, a waste rock dump, a seepage water collection system and a major water treatment plant.

Labour Force Requirements

Jobs Required During Construction: All construction trades will be needed to complete the expansion. One of the key elements of the project is the construction of a $100 million water treatment plant by 2022 that will reduce concentrations of selenium and other parameters to Dry Creek and the Elk River Watershed.  A second water treatment facility at the existing Line Creek operations is already under construction.

Jobs Required During Operation: 500 full-time jobs at the mine will be saved.  Many of these positions will be available through retirements, etc.

Labour Force Training at College of the Rockies

With over $2.8 million in funding provided by Western Economic Diversification ($1.7 million), the Province of BC ($580,000) and Columbia Basin Trust ($560,000), College of the Rockies was able to purchase four stationary haul truck operator simulators as well as one mobile simulator.  The Haul Truck Operator program began providing training to area residents in August 2013 in an effort to meet the growing need of skilled workers for the mining industry.  The stationary simulators are located at the Fernie and Cranbrook campuses while the mobile haul truck simulator allows for the training to be provided throughout BC.

College of the Rockies offers Heavy Duty Mechanics training at both the foundation and apprenticeship levels.  Training allows students to learn to repair, troubleshoot and maintain mobile heavy-duty equipment used in the mining and other industries.  BC Work Futures projected over 1700 job openings between 2010 and 2015 in BC for Heavy Duty Mechanics due to retirements alone.

Electrical training at College of the Rockies at the foundation and apprenticeship levels help to prepare students for positions in heavy industry, including mining.  BC Work Futures projected over 2200 job openings between 2010 and 2015 in BC for Electricians due to retirements alone.

College of the Rockies offers Level C, B and A foundation-level welding training.  Students begin with C-Level training and can then work their way through the other two levels.  Combining this training with required on-the-job training hours provides the opportunity for apprenticeship certification.

The Mining Apprenticeship program offered by College of the Rockies is designed to train participants for careers as Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians and/or Electricians by providing apprenticeship work experience at the worksite of the MAP partners under actual operating conditions.  Current industry partners are the five coal mines owned and operated by Teck Coal Ltd. in the East Kootenay region.

About College of the Rockies

Region served: East Kootenay
Main industries: Forestry, Mining and Tourism
Locations: Cranbrook (2), Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere and Kimberley
Campuses/learning centres: 7
Students served annually: 12,800+
Programs offered: A comprehensive mix of vocational, trades, career technical, health, business and academic programs, bachelor and associate degrees, diplomas and certificates and continuing education.

The College of the Rockies (COTR) offers smaller class sizes, personalized instruction, state-of-the-art technology, great support services and professional, friendly staff who are dedicated to student success.

College of the Rockies Media Contact:
Darryl Schmidt, External Communications Coordinator
Tel. (250)489-2751 ext. 3343

Media Contact BC Colleges:
Cindy Ball – 604-828-8050
Alix Cameron – 604-839-2770