The Coal Mine Atlas includes:
- Locations, names and owners
- Production figures and lifespan
- Interactive Map Viewer: shows by location, type and size of mines
- Location of all current AER permits
- Data on over 2300 mines in Alberta
Contents on Page
The Coal Mine Map Viewer is an interactive map application that facilitates map navigation (panning and zooming around the map), as well as the ability to locate mines by mine number. Maps may also be printed. For help with the viewer, please refer to the online Help file.
Launch Viewer: Coal Mine Map Viewer
For problems with launching the viewer, please contact Customer Contact Centre at Inquiries@aer.ca or phone 403-297-8311.
Coal mines are displayed as cross-hatched outlines for large mines and symbols for small mines. In the case of large surface mines, the cross-hatching includes areas of prestripping and other ground-disturbing activities. The information was obtained from actual mine plans kept either in the Provincial Archives or at the AER.
A question mark (?) appearing adjacent to a mine symbol indicates that no plan is available for that particular mine and its location is approximate. Current mine permit boundaries are also indicated on the maps.
Although every effort has been made to ensure that all mines have been drawn in their correct locations, errors and omissions are likely when the only sources are old and incomplete plans and documents. It is also probable that there are abandoned mines in the province currently unknown to the AER.
For the convenience of those who may want to download or print a copy of the data list, two file types are available. Supporting information has been modified as of May 15, 2015:
The former appendices have been replaced in this edition with an Excel file that allows the user to cross-reference the data (sort/filter) in any way desired. The PDF file is a summary of the list in a user-friendly, printable format.
The Listing comprises the following:
Coal List: All mines listed by location (in ascending order). The list contains information about each mine's history, including:
- Mine number and name
- Mine company
- Mine type and status
- Coal rank
- Depth and thickness
** The production stated in ST45 (cumulative tonnage over the life of the mine) may not match that in ST26 (raw production directly reported by the operator/owner during a given timeframe)
Permitted Coal Mine Sites: Displayed by location. Information for each mine includes:
- Permit number
- Mine number and name
- Mine owner
- Mine type
- Mining method
- Owner History: Alphabetical list of coal mine owners/operators.
Abbreviations: As used in the Coal Mine Atlas.
Coal was first excavated in Alberta during the late 1700s and early 1800s to fuel blacksmiths' forges at Fort Edmonton. In 1874, Nicholas Sheran opened the first commercial mine on the banks of the Oldman River in southern Alberta to supply coal to a local market. The westward expansion of the railway saw the opening of Alberta's first large-scale mine in 1882: the Galt Mine, located near Sheran's original workings. Since then, more than 2000 mines have operated in the province, producing over 1 billion tonnes of coal.
The Energy Resource Conservation Board (ERCB) first published the Coal Mine Atlas in 1985 primarily to identify the areas in the province where mining has occurred. More detailed information can be obtained from actual mine plans, some of which may be available from the Information Product Services Section by e-mail at InformationRequest@aer.ca or telephone at 403-297-8311, option 2. The publication of this atlas updates the fourth edition (2001-45), the third edition (94-45), the second edition (88-45), and the 1992 supplement (93-45A).
In 1905, Alberta began to catalogue coal mines by assigning a unique number to each operation. Numbers were assigned to all mines then operating and to a large number of mines already abandoned. This system is still used by the AER with some modifications. The mine numbers in the atlas consist of four digits and currently range from 0001 to 1809. The numbers 0500 to 0599 were not issued.
For various reasons, some coal mines and exploratory excavations were not assigned mine numbers. These mine numbers in the Atlas consist of four digits and currently range from 9000 to 9100.
In special circumstances, extenders have been added to some mine numbers and are confined to this publication. In a case where one owner mined coal in various locations and retained the same mine number, a suffix "/1", "/2", etc., has been used (e.g., 1603, 1603/1, 1603/2). When unrelated mining operations were given the same mine number, a suffix such as "/A" or "/B" has been added (e.g., 1137, 1137/A, 1137/B). The suffix "/E" are designates mines as experimental and/or exploratory excavations, such as test pits or adits (e.g., 1786/01/E, 1806/E/01).
Several shale mines and base metal prospects were also assigned coal mine numbers. These are identified in the table Operating and Abandoned Mines in the Remarks column.
Additional sources for information on coal mines:
Accession 77.237, Coal Mine Records, Provincial Archives of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.
Brown, J. D. B., former Chief Mines Inspector for the Province of Alberta. Conversation with author in May 1983, Edmonton, Alberta.
Campbell, J. D., 1964, Catalogue of Coal Mines of the Alberta Plains , PreliminaryReport 64-3 (Edmonton: Research Council of Alberta).
Campbell, J. D., 1967, Coal Mines and Coal Leases, Alberta Rocky Mountains and Foothills , Report 66 -5 (Edmonton: Research Council of Alberta).
Department of the Interior, Northwest Territories Branch, Record Group 87, Mineral Resources Branch, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
Department of Public Works, Annual Reports , 1907-1917 (Edmonton: Department of Public Works of the Province of Alberta).
Johnston, Alex, and Gladwyn, Keith, 1989, Lethbridge: Its Coal Industry (Lethbridge: Lethbridge Historical Society).
Mine files, plans, production records, etc., Mine Development Section, Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, Calgary, Alberta.
Mines Branch, Annual Reports, 1918-1931 (Edmonton: Mines Branch of the Province of Alberta).
Mines Branch, Annual Reports of the Mines Branch , 1932-1948 (Edmonton: Department of Lands and Mines of the Province of Alberta).
Mines Division, Annual Reports of the Mines Division , 1949-1971 (Edmonton: Department of Mines and Minerals of the Province of Alberta).
Mines Division, Coal Mines in Alberta (Edmonton: Department of Mines and Minerals).
Mines Division, Unpublished, Trade Names in Numerical Order (Edmonton: Department of Mines and Minerals).
Taylor, Richard Spence, 1971, Atlas: Coal Mine Workings of the Edmonton Area (Edmonton: Spence Taylor and Associates Limited).