Abstract: Old and New Horizons in Coal Potential for Western and Arctic Canada
D. K. Norris
The coal measures in western and arctic Canada range in age from Mississippian to early Tertiary, and in rank from lignitic to anthracitic. Only in western Canada have they been exploited systematically. There, both inclined and flat seams have been mined since the advent of the railroad nearly 100 years ago. Repetition through folding and faulting has made possible mining the same seam or series of seams intermittently along and across the strike for great distances. Inclination of the seams, however, has limited seriously the amount of recoverable coal because strip ratio rapidly becomes unfavorable or the overburden pressure too great for safe and economical mining. Concurrently there has been increasing interest in the regionally flat-lying seams in the Interior Plain of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and in the abnormally thick local accumulations of lignitic coal in southern British Columbia. They hold great promise as feedstock for thermoelectric power generation in western Canada.
New horizons lie in the remote parts of British Columbia, Yukon Territory, District of Mackenzie, and the Arctic Islands. There the coals are largely lignitic and their potential appears to be limited. They are proving invaluable, however, as local sources of power for the mining industry and could serve as important substitutes for thermoelectric power generation in northern communities. Although there appears to be ample domestic coal for several generations, we must budget all energy resources to assure self-reliance for the future.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90968©1977 AAPG-SEPM Annual Convention and Exhibition, Washington, DC