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Jan 15, 2020

Teck buying SunMine solar project in B.C. for $2 million

Barry Schwartz discusses Teck Resources

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — Mining company Teck Resources Ltd. says it is purchasing the SunMine solar electricity generating facility in B.C. from the City of Kimberley.

The Vancouver-based company says it has agreed to pay about $2 million, matching the city's debt associated with the operation.

The 1.05-megawatt SunMine opened in 2015 on reclaimed land at Teck's Sullivan Mine, which was closed in 2001 after producing zinc, lead and silver for nearly 100 years.

But its earnings for the community fell short of expectations, in part due to heavy smoke caused by summer forest fires, and the city has been negotiating to sell it to Teck for several years.

Citizens voted in a referendum during the October 2018 municipal election in favour of selling the facility.

Teck CEO Don Lindsay says the company will use SunMine to build firsthand experience with solar power that could lead to its implementation at other operations.

"Our involvement with SunMine is part of our commitment to taking action on climate change, advancing renewable energy development and supporting the global transition to a low-carbon economy," he said in a news release.

Teck is awaiting word from Ottawa on whether it will be allowed to build its proposed $20.6-billion Frontier oilsands mine in northern Alberta, a project that environmentalists say is inconsistent with Canada's greenhouse gas emission reduction policies.