Metal Tech News - June 22, 2023
Teck Resources Ltd.'s Trail Operations in British Columbia is the first stand-alone zinc processing site in the world to be awarded the Zinc Mark, a certification that the facility meets high environmental, social, and governance standards.
Established six months ago, Zinc Mark is an extension of the Copper Mark framework established by the International Copper Association in 2019 as an independent entity to promote responsible mining practices and demonstrate the sector's efforts to uphold the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Copper Mark-assured sites currently account for 25% of the copper mined globally. This includes Teck's Highland Valley Copper Operations in BC, which was the first mine in Canada awarded Copper Mark verification.
To be certified with Copper Mark, an operation is assessed and independently verified against 32 environmental, social, and governance criteria, including greenhouse gas emissions, community health and safety, respect for Indigenous rights, and business integrity.
Copper Mark has recently added Zinc Mark, Molybdenum Mark, and Nickel Mark – all of which uphold the same 32 ESG standards.
"The Copper Mark's multi-metals approach was developed with the ambition of making more responsibly sourced zinc, molybdenum and nickel available to society," said Copper Mark Executive Director Michèle Brülhart. "Today's award testifies to Teck's commitment to this vision. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with Teck to promote sustainable and responsible practices across the zinc value chain."
Teck's Trail Operations in Southern BC is a zinc refinery that also produces lead and zinc byproducts, as well as the critical mineral germanium and indium.
Trail Operations is one of the world's largest, yet lowest carbon dioxide-emitting zinc and lead smelting and refining facilities in the world. The extremely low carbon intensity is largely due to clean BC hydroelectricity that powers this metallurgical complex.
To further reduce the CO2 emissions at Trail, Teck installed a capture utilization and storage pilot project at the site in 2022 that is designed to capture three metric tons of CO2 per day from flue gas exhausted from an acid plant.
The acid plant prevents sulfur dioxide emissions from Trail by converting this gas into sulfuric acid that is used to produce fertilizer and other products.
If successful, the pilot project could be scaled up to an industrial-scale plant with the potential to capture over 100,000 metric tons of CO2 per year at Trail, the equivalent emissions of more than 20,000 cars.
Teck's Red Dog Mine, one of the largest zinc mines in the world and the largest critical minerals operation in the United States, provides much of the zinc and lead concentrates processed at Trail.
Operated by Teck in partnership with NANA Corp., the Alaska Native regional corporation for Northwest Alaska, Red Dog has strong ESG credentials in its own right and contributes to Teck's overall commitment to responsibly produced zinc.
"Zinc has a crucial role to play in global efforts to decarbonize as its primary use in galvanizing steel extends the life of essential infrastructure and clean tech like renewable power and electric vehicles," said Teck Resources CEO Jonathan Price. "It is important to produce zinc sustainably and responsibly, and we're proud that Trail Operations has been awarded the Zinc Mark."