It was 40 years ago (March 15, 1972), that the first railcar loaded with coal left the mine and headed for Vancouver, The Free Press reported. Built in 1969, Fording River is located 29 km northeast of Elkford, B.C., and is the largest of Teck’s five coal mines in the Elk Valley. Fording River produces primarily high-quality coking coal, and proven and probable reserves are projected to support mining at current production rates for more than 30 years.