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Why the Elk Valley Matters

Nov 16, 2015

OK, hands up anyone who doesn’t know where the Elk Valley is or who’s never been there.  If your hand’s in the air you’ve missed out on a national gem – one of the most spectacular areas of BC, home to some of the friendliest people this side of the Rockies.

It’s also home to Teck’s coal mines and a new independent study conducted for Resource Works has highlighted what a major economic driver those mines represent, and not just in the Elk Valley.  In 2014 those mines produced 26.7 million tonnes of steelmaking coal – an essential ingredient in, you guessed it, steelmaking – generating $3.3 billion revenue.

Equally impressive are the spin-off benefits from those operations.  While the Elk Valley is nestled in south-eastern BC in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, the benefits of those mining operations extended all the way to the Lower Mainland.

Consider this.  In 2013 Teck spent over $1 billion on goods and services to support its mining operations and nearly 60% of that – $609.3 million – flowed to businesses in the Lower Mainland Southwest Development Region.

Teck itself directly employs 3,673 men and women, including 320 people at their corporate offices in Sparwood and Vancouver.  And make no mistake, most of these are well-paying union jobs: the average overall salary is $114,600.

So next time you’re in the mood for a road trip, consider the Elk Valley.  The vistas are spectacular, the wildlife abundant and there’s no shortage of outdoor activities all year round.  But below all that beauty hums an important economic engine that benefits British Columbians from the Rockies to the Pacific.

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