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W & Portraits: Jeff Pew P: Teck “I remember the moment the ventilation fans shut down,” 34-year-old Jeff Rees says over a beer at the Shed. Now, Teck’s Supervisor of Reclamation and Closure, Rees recalls the snowy December day in 2001 that Kimberley’s Sullivan Mine — one of the world’s largest producers of zinc, lead and silver — ceased production after 92 years of operation. “All of a sudden, everything went quiet,” he says. “The constant hum I grew up with was gone. We weren’t sure what was going to become of Kimberley.” Now, 17 years later, Rees has a key role in the ongoing management of the legendary mine that gave birth to and sustained his hometown for multiple generations. He and his co-workers based at Sullivan today have a mandate to ensure that the property is diligently managed to protect the local environment, and to also perform the same function for other Teck-owned decommissioned mine sites across Canada. In Kimberley, in particular, the challenge lies in the long-term management of acid rock drainage: the  result of water coming in contact with large volumes of rock containing sulfur-bearing minerals.  “Reclamation is an ever-evolving field,” Rees says. “The environmental standards and regulations of the early 20th century have changed; the expectations have increased. I remember stories from previous generations: kids who got into trouble when they returned home because their orange socks meant they were playing in Mark Creek. Now, Mark Creek supports a healthy fish population. My kids can play and splash in it. It’s a focal point of Kimberley’s downtown core. The closure responsibility for some of Teck’s sites can last a long time. At no point do we ever walk away.”

WINTER 2018

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Profile for GO Kimberley magazine

GO Kimberley Magazine Issue 45  

Winter 2018

GO Kimberley Magazine Issue 45  

Winter 2018

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