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23rd March 2024
...continued from Part 1

Glencore also pleaded guilty to a “multi-year scheme to manipulate fuel oil prices at two of the busiest commercial shipping ports in the U.S.,” which took place between 2011 and 2019, the Department of Justice said in the news release.

Glencore spokesperson Charles Watenphul said in November the company “has taken significant action over the last several years towards implementing a world-class ethics and compliance program.”

“Glencore is a different company today and is committed to being a company that creates value for all stakeholders by operating transparently under a well-defined set of values, with openness and integrity at the forefront,” he said in November.

As of B.C.’s most recent chief inspector’s report, Glencore had provided just a small fraction of the reclamation securities for two of its five B.C. mines, leaving a future cleanup bill of more than $8.6 million.

If the deal goes through, Glencore will purchase a 77 per cent stake in Elk Valley Resources, which represents the entirety of Teck’s steel-making coal business. Nippon Steel Corporation would take a 20 per cent stake in the company, while POSCO, a steelmaking company based in South Korea, would gain a three per cent stake in the mines.

Watenphul said in November that the company would provide what it owes to the province in reclamation securities by the end of March 2024. He declined to comment on this new report and referred to previous statements to The Narwhal.

But Wiebe remains concerned that B.C. doesn’t hold sufficient security for the Elk Valley mines.

“They could continue mining until it’s no longer profitable, go bankrupt and all of a sudden it’s on the taxpayer to fund the reclamation efforts and pollution cleanup,” he said. “That’s a huge risk. It’s going to be multiple billions of dollars, at least, potentially on our shoulders.”

Updated March 19, 2024, at 5:55 p.m. PT: This story has been updated to include a comment from Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Osborne