Teck, Mulling New Oil-Sands Mine, Sets Carbon-Neutral Goal


(Bloomberg) -- Teck Resources Ltd., which is proposing a new oil-sands mine in Canada, set a goal of becoming carbon neutral from its operations and activities by 2050.

Reaching the goal will entail evaluating alternative ways of moving materials at mines, using cleaner power sources and improving efficiency, Vancouver-based Teck said Monday. The company said it already has implemented projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its operations by 289,000 tons since 2011.

Teck, which produces copper, coal, zinc and oil, is setting the target as the Canadian government weighs approval of its proposed Frontier oil-sands mine in Alberta. The project would cost C$20 billion ($15 billion) to build and produce 250,000 barrels of crude a day, more than the daily oil consumption of Norway.

Oil-sands producers including Cenovus Energy Inc. have also set goals of becoming carbon neutral. Like the goal Teck announced on Monday, those targets include direct emissions from their operations and indirect emissions from the generation of energy they use, but not the emissions that come from burning the fuels they produce.

Greenpeace Canada criticized Teck for announcing a plan to cut emissions from its operations while considering an oil-sands project that will help fuel cars with gasoline and diesel. Chris Stannell, a spokesman for Teck, said emissions intensity at Frontier would be approximately one half of the oil sands industry average. The crude produced there would also have a lower carbon intensity than about half of the oil currently refined in the U.S., he said.

Teck hasn’t yet committed to building Frontier, even if it gets government approval. Chief Executive Officer Don Lindsay said last week that the company will need a partner to develop the project with, adequate pipeline capacity and strong enough oil prices before deciding to go ahead with it. Teck owns about 21% of the Fort Hills oil-sands mine, which opened in 2018.

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