Coal mining in Alberta is regulated by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). AER data and publications, ST45 provides detailed information on number of mines, coal reserves, production and disposition, by coal type and by destination.
Alberta Labour is responsible for mine safety.
Mining activities and reclamation are subject to review and approval through Alberta Environment and Parks. Environmental management is an important part of developing, running and closing down a mine. Mining companies develop and carry out plans to minimize impacts on air, land, water and wildlife. Companies use a variety of techniques to reclaim and restore mined lands.
Coal and mineral development year in review (annual reports)
Alberta’s coal mining started in the late 1800s.
Coal was the energy source that boosted the industrial revolution of the 19th century and launched the electric era in the following century.
It was the primary source of energy until the late 1960s when it was overtaken by oil. Coal-fired power generation currently provides more than 40% of the world's total electricity.
Source: Natural Resources Canada
The world's total proven recoverable coal reserves are 1,000 billion tonnes (t) spread over more than 70 countries.
Alberta averages 25 to 30 million tonnes of coal production each year from its 9 mines. Coal-bearing formations underlie about 300,000 square kilometres, almost half of Alberta.
In 2014, 9 mine sites produced approximately 30.8 million tonnes (Mt) of marketable coal. Subbituminous coal accounted for 78% of the total, and metallurgical bituminous coal the remaining 22%. Six surface mines produce subbituminous coal.
Connect with the Coal and Mineral Development Unit:
Coal and Mineral Development Unit
North Petroleum Plaza
9945 108 Street *
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2G6
* Couriers, please report to the 2nd floor.
Calgary (drop-off location only)
300, 801 6 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 3W2