Highland Valley warns of rocky road ahead

By James Peters
October 27, 2016 - 11:43am Updated: October 28, 2016 - 4:29pm

LOGAN LAKE, B.C. — Teck Resources is warning of tough times ahead for its massive Highland Valley Copper mine in Logan Lake.

Highland Valley Superintendent of Environment and Community Affairs Peter Martell says there are a pair of big challenges facing the mine this fall.

"Since 2011, the price of copper has fallen by 46 per cent, and remains very low. In addition, our production is declining as we transition into a lower grade area of the mine," explained Martell.

Martell says the company is looking at all areas of the mine operation to find cost savings.

"The combination of these factors make Highland Valley's financial very challenging going forward. As a result, we are focused on cost reduction, and looking at all areas of our operation to find further opportunities to safely reduce cost and support the ongoing viability of the mine in the future."

Highland Valley's mine life is projected to expire in 2026.

The company is in the midst of an acrimonious labour negotiation right now with the United Steelworkers, the union that represents the majority of the mine's 1300 employees.

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