Teck Resources Limited known as Teck Cominco until late 2008, is a Canadian metals and mining company. Canada's largest diversified resources company, it was formed from the amalgamation of Teck and Cominco in 2001.
Teck's products at 2017 include coal, copper, zinc, lead, silver, gold, molybdenum, germanium, indium and cadmium.
Cominco started in 1906 as The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada, formed by the amalgamation of several units controlled by the Canadian Pacific Railway. CM&S, or "Smelters" as it was often called by investors, changed its name to Cominco in 1966. Cominco's core Sullivan Mine in Kimberley, British Columbia which began production of lead, zinc, silver and tin in 1909, would operate for more than 90 years until its ore reserves exhausted in 2001.
Teck began as Teck-Hughes Gold Mines Limited in 1913, to develop a gold discovery by prospectors Sandy McIntyre and James Hughes at Kirkland Lake, Ontario. The Teck-Hughes Mine would produce for 50 years until 1965. The Beaverdell Mine, purchased by Teck in 1969, went back even further to 1898, and produced silver until 1991.
The association between Teck and Cominco began in 1986, when Teck and two industry partners acquired a shareholding from CP Limited, and culminated with the merging of the two companies in July 2001.
On May 8, 2006, Teck Cominco offered to purchase Inco for $16 billion, but CVRD eventually purchased it for $17 billion.
On July 29, 2008 Teck Cominco announced an agreement with Fording Canadian Coal Trust, which owned a 60% stake in the Elk Valley Coal Partnership, to purchase 100% of its assets. Teck Cominco had been the minority owner of the Elk Valley Coal Partnership, with a 40% stake. The facilities are located near Fernie, British Columbia. The purchase was closed on October 30, 2008, with a final cost of $14-billion USD. Elk Valley Coal Corporation will be renamed Teck Coal Limited. The purchase resulted in Teck taking on $9.8-billion USD in debt; the company has suspended dividends, cut spending, and is selling some assets to save money. On January 9, 2009, the company also announced a plan to cut 13% of their total workforce, amounting to 1,400 jobs, saving the company $85 million. Coal production targets were also lowered by 20% in response to declining worldwide demand for steel, in the midst of the global financial crisis.
Beginning October 1, 2008, Teck Cominco began rebranding itself as Teck. The legal name of the company was changed to Teck Resources Ltd. on 23 April 2009 after being approved by shareholders the previous day.
In 2008, its $25 million donation to BC Children's Hospital Foundation earned its name attached to the Teck Acute Care Centre expected to complete construction in 2017.
In July 2009, China Investment Corporation bought a 17% stake in Teck for C$1.74bn.
In 2012, the Company announced record earning, record profit and record production, thus ending the year 2011 with $4.4 billion in cash. Besides expanding into Energy sector, the company was also executing two major projects in Chile and planning a $600 million restart of its Quintette Mine near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia.
In the past, Teck Cominco has been criticized and sued for violating environmental laws and standards. Teck Resources, however, has made "best in class" environmental and social performance a priority of late, and is getting recognized for its efforts; awards for safety, reclamation and sustainable development are all available for public scrutiny on their website, as is their sustainability report.
The company's smelter in Trail, British Columbia was blamed in 2003 for heavily contaminating the Columbia River. Legal action taken by American citizens living in settlements downriver progressed to the U.S. Supreme Court and was recently denied certiorari, solidifying the Appellate Court's holding that Teck is subject to U.S. jurisdiction even though it is a Canadian company.
A refinery belonging to Teck in Trail, British Columbia was the site of a lead spill into the Columbia River on May 28, 2008.
The company's Red Dog mine operation in north-western Alaska has been ranked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of the most polluting facilities in the United States based on output tonnage of toxic waste, largely (over 99%)in the form of blasted and moved, but otherwise unprocessed, waste rock from mining operations. Residents living downstream from the mine launched a lawsuit against Teck Cominco, demanding that the Red Dog mine complies with its environmental obligations and that it pay fines for continuing to violate its water permit requirements. On November 30, 2007, the company released the final report of its six-year study, with the oversight of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, of risks of dust escaping from traffic along what is officially known as the DeLong Mountain Regional Transportation System Road. The final report incorporates formal comments and input from a wide range of government agencies and stakeholders, including local village residents. The risk assessment concludes it is safe to consume subsistence foods in all areas without restrictions.
After a long running court case filed by Washington state’s Native American Colville Confederated Tribes over environmental damage from smelter effluents, Teck Resources confessed to polluting the upper reaches of the Columbia River for nearly a century. According to reports, the Teck smelter in the city of Trail disposed of hazardous effluent in adjacent river systems between 1896 and 1995.
The Colville Confederated Tribes filed a lawsuit against Teck Cominco in 2004 claiming the company had dumped 140,000 tons of slag directly into the river, polluting the surface water, ground water and sediment of the upper Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt with hazardous metals including arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, copper and zinc.