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Highland Valley Copper - Copper Mining

Teck Cominco Ltd.

July 11,2002

Highland Valley Copper is located in British Columbia, 75 km southwest of Kamloops. It operates one of the largest copper concentrators in North America and in 2001 milled over 48 million tonnes or 133,000 tonnes per day, producing 397 million pounds of copper in concentrate.

The current operation was formed in 1986 through a partnership involving the Lornex mine and mill, and Cominco's Valley Copper orebody, and Teck's direct interests. Teck's Highmont mill was added to the partnership in 1989.

Mining is carried out in both the Valley and Lornex pits, with approximately two-thirds of ore production coming from the Valley. The Valley pit contains two in-pit crushers feeding twin 6,000-tonne per hour conveyors that deliver ore to stockpiles ahead of the mill. The in-pit crushers are semi-mobile and have been relocated several times within the pit to maintain close proximity to the ore. They are now in their final position and will not be moved before the end of mining. Ore from the Lornex pit is delivered by truck to a pit rim crusher that also feeds the stockpile system through a conveyor system. The mining operation employs the latest technology for mobile equipment dispatching as well as Global Positioning System (GPS) location technology on the blast hole drills and electric shovels. Sophisticated imaging software and communications systems are employed to optimize blasting fragmentation and primary crusher operation.

The mill contains five parallel grinding circuits, three of which are semi-autogenous and two are fully autogenous. The flotation circuit is conventional on all five lines. The extensive use of instrumentation, on-stream analyzers and expert systems minimizes manpower requirements and provides rapid responses to circuit changes. Significant changes in mill feed preparation, maintenance and operating philosophy in the past five years have resulted in improving throughput by an average of 10% over previous rates. Most concentrates are transported to Vancouver for shipment to overseas markets, with a portion railed eastward to domestic smelters.

The mine is expected to produce an average of 365 million pounds of copper annually until closure in 2009.

The mine's major partners are Teck Cominco (64%) and BHP Billiton (34%), with management of Highland Valley Copper controlled 50 / 50.