Vista coal mine

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Vista coal mine is operated by Coalspur Mines Limited producing 5 million tonnes per annum near Hinton, Alberta, Canada.[1]

The project planned to expand an additional 4.2 million tonnes per annum in 2020.[1] But at the G7 meeting in June 2021, Canada's Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced that the government will "no longer approve thermal-coal mining projects because of their contribution to the climate crisis."[2] As a result, the expansion project is cancelled.


The satellite photo below shows the area of the mine near Hinton, Alberta, Canada.

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The project is estimated to have a mine life of 30 years. The mine is scheduled to be developed through open pit methods in two phases. The Alberta Energy Regulator granted approval for the project in February 2014 paving the way for finalizing the detailed regulatory permits and licenses in 2014.[3] However, this timing coincided with a downturn in global thermal coal prices. The Vista Coal Mine is now owned by Bighorn Mining Ltd.[4]

The operation is a truck and shovel mine expected to produce 1.5 Mt in 2019, with 5.5 in 2020, ramping up to 7.0 Mt by 2021.[5] The capacity is expandable up to 12 million tons per year in the second phase. The second phase is planned to be funded through the cash flows generated from the first phase.[3] Approvals for phase 2 are still needed. The second phase is expected to begin to 2021.[6]

Currently, Coalspur is in the public consultation process for phase 2 in which they are seeking feedback from landowners, trappers, communities, stakeholders, and indigenous groups on the reports and plans, thus the open houses. Coalspur plans to submit the required report under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act to the Alberta Energy Regulator at the beginning of 2020.[7]

Project Details

  • Owner: Coalspur Mines Limited
  • Parent company: Bighorn Mining
  • Location: Hinton, Alberta, Canada
  • GPS coordinates: 53.3961117,-117.6478052 (approximate)
  • Mine status: Operating
  • Start year: 2019
  • Mineable reserves: 313 million tons[3]
  • Total reserves:1517 million tons[3]
  • Coal type: Thermal
  • Mine size: 9,984 ha
  • Mine type: Surface
  • Production: 5 million tons per year
  • Equipment: Open pit
  • Number of employees: 350

Project Expansion Details

  • Status: Cancelled[2]
  • Production Capacity: 4.2 million tons per year[1]
  • Mine expansion size:
  • Start Year: 2021
  • Source of Financing: Cash flows generated from the first phase

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sharon J. Riley, Here’s what you need to know about the Vista mine, Alberta’s thermal coal project that ‘sidestepped’ a federal review, The Narwhal, March 10, 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 Danielle Bochove, Canada to Reject Future Thermal Coal Mining Projects, Bloomberg Green, June 11, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Vista Coal Mine Project, Alberta, Mining Technology, accessed October 2019.
  4. Alberta coal mining activity rebounds in 2018, JWN April 1, 2019.
  5. Vista coal mine, Wood Mackenzie, September 4, 2019.
  6. Vista Project, Data Mining Solutions, accessed October 2019.
  7. Bighorn readies for expansion, The Hinton Voice, October 18, 2019.

Related articles

External resources

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