The Cardinal River mine is located approximately 42 kilometres south of Hinton, Alberta. Prior to 2003 the mine was owned by Luscar and CONSOL, each of which retains a net revenue royalty of 2.5 percent based on any coal mined from the Cheviot pit and certain other former Luscar properties.
Development of the Cheviot Creek pit, located approximately 20 kilometres south of the Cardinal River coal plant, was completed in 2005. Coal mined at Cardinal River is primarily steelmaking coal, although a small amount of thermal coal also is produced. The current annual production capacities of the mine and preparation plant are 2.0 and 3.0 million tonnes of clean coal, respectively.
At 2009 production rates, Cardinal River is expected to have a mine life of approximately 27 years.
Cardinal River Operation is located approximately 42 kilometres south of Hinton, in west central Alberta. With a population of 10,000 people, Hinton is nestled in the heart of a recreational paradise on the eastern edge of Jasper National Park, 280 kilometres west of Edmonton. Most Cardinal River employees live locally in Cadomin or Hinton. These communities offer exceptional opportunities for recreation in both summer and winter, all within the setting of the picturesque Alberta foothills.
The Cheviot mine permit area lies along an east-west trending valley centered on the historic town site of Mountain Park, an active coal mining area for forty years beginning in the early 1900s.
Mining operations originally commenced at Cardinal River in 1970. New life was given to operations with the development of the new Cheviot pit mining area in 2005.
The Cardinal River mine extracts coal from the Lower Cretaceous Gates Formation, which typically contains six coal seams ranging in thickness from one to 13 metres.
The Jewel Seam is the most economic seam and can be up to 10m thick, although local thickening due to shortening of the strata by folding and thrusting occurs along fold hinges. Deposit Summary.
The coal of the Jewel Seam is metallurgical coal and ranges from high to medium volatile bituminous.
The Cardinal River deposit will be mined from a series of six open pits that will be developed sequentially.
Mining & Operations
Ore is liberated by first drilling a pattern of two to three hundred holes using either a P&H 120A or a GD 120 drill. The holes are then filled with explosives, and blasted. There are generally one or two blasting sessions per week at the mine. The waste rock is then loaded onto one of 5 Unit Rig MT4400, 2 Euclid R260, 4 Haulpak 830Es or 5 Kress 220Cs haul trucks using either a P&H 4100 XPB, a B.E 395, or a P&H 2800 electric shovel and hauled to the waste dump areas. Every day, more than 160,000 tonnes of waste rock is removed. To expose one tonne of clean coal, nine tonnes of waste rock must be removed.
The clean coal is then loaded into trucks, primarily using front end loaders with buckets as large as 18 cubic meters. The coal is then hauled to the breaker using 218 tonne trucks at a rate of over 13,000 tonnes per day. Coal from different seams and from different areas of the mine is trucked to the breaker at specified ratios to meet product blend specifications.
Raw coal is trucked to the breaker, which breaks up the larger coal pieces and removes any large rock fragments. The raw coal is then conveyed to the wash plant where it is cleaned. Fine rock particles are removed from the coal using gravity and flotation techniques.
The waste rock that is removed from the coal is either trucked to refuse dumps or sent to a tailings pond. The washed coal is then sent to the dryer to bring the moisture content down to product specifications. Once the coal is clean and has been dried, it is then conveyed to storage areas and loaded onto unit trains.
Environment and community
Cardinal River has an environmental management system that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements. Policy includes continual monitoring to measure performance and continuous improvement to environmental management systems.
Cardinal River and its Cheviot project have raised the public's awareness of environmental issues in the area. Cardinal River is committed to sharing information about wildlife populations and habitats with the public.
One of the key environmental commitments made by Cardinal River in the Cheviot project is the concept of adaptive management. As progressive monitoring information becomes available and new practices evolve, Cardinal River is committed to amending its management plans to ensure the best science and knowledge is brought to management plans and mitigation strategies.