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Mining company Teck Resources Ltd. says it is purchasing the SunMine solar electricity generating facility in British Columbia 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.

Story continues below advertisement

But its earnings for the community fell short of expectations, in part owing 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 to sell the facility.

Teck chief executive officer 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 oil sands mine in northern Alberta, a project that environmentalists say is inconsistent with Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction policies.

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