Greenhills operation is located 8 kilometres northeast of Elkford. At Greenhills, up to 24 coal seams occur in the Jurassic-Cretaceous Mist Mountain Formation (Kootenay Group) interbedded with sandstone, siltstone and shale. The major seams, which are continuous throughout the area, are named 1, 7, 10, 16 and 20. Seams 1, 7 and 10 (68 per cent of in place geological reserves) are medium volatile bituminous coal, while seam 16 and other stratigraphically higher seams are high volatile A bituminous in rank. Other major seams are lenticular and less extensive (several kilometres extent) and occur generally in the upper half of the Mist Mountain Formation. Thicknesses of the major seams are as follows from oldest to youngest; seam 1 (10 to 16 metres), 7 (7 to 11 metres), 10 and 10L (5 to 11 metres), 16 and 16L (5 to 11 metres, and seam 20 (2 to 7 metres).
The main structure in the Greenhills area is a broad, open, roughly north trending, gently north plunging syncline. Beds on the west limb dip 20 to 40 degrees east and on the east limb 20 to 60 degrees west. The east limb is cut off to the east by a major normal fault (north extension of the Fording River fault), whose local vertical displacement is greater than 600 metres. The west limb of the syncline is cut by some minor thrust faults. Three kilometres south of the Kaiser Resources north boundary, the Greenhills normal fault splays off the Fording River fault. The former has a 120 to 140 metre displacement (west side downthrown).
Unclassified reserves are 100 million tonnes of coal (The Coal Association of Canada 1993 Directory, page 12).
Westar Mining Ltd. started operations in 1981, production in 1982, and shut down in December 1992. Fording Coal Ltd. re-opened the mine in March 1993.
At the Greenhills mine, Fording Coal continues to increase production, 3.8 million tonnes in 1995 and 4.2 million tonnes in 1996. The plant capacity has been expanded by the addition of new heavy-media cyclone circuits. Eighty exploration drillholes, totalling 12,000 metres, were completed in the Raven and Cougar pits during 1995 (Information Circular 1996-1, page 8).
Sales totalled about 4 million tonnes in 1998. Exploration drilling totalled 5200 metres in 19 rotary drill holes in the Cougar North Extension area.
Reserves at January 1, 2000 are 128 million tonnes (Information Circular 2001-1, page 6).
Fording Inc. did not provide individual production tonnage information for 2002 but the total production was 14 million tonnes for the Fording River, Greenhills, and Coal Mountain mines combined. Based on 2001 production (4,900,000 tonnes), 2003 production (4,000,000 tonnes) and a similar total overall Fording production, it is reasonable to assume that the 2002 production was at least 4,000,000 tonnes. In 2003, at the Greenhills mine (082JSE007) in-pit drilling comprised 1383 metres in 12 holes. Projected coal production for 2004 was 5,200,000 tonnes and for 2005 it was 5,100,000 tonnes.
As of December 31, 2009 combined proven and probable reserves were 84.9 million tonnes (Exploration and Mining in BC 2010, p.106).
As of 2015, Teck (80 percent ownership) and POSCAN (20 percent ownership) continue to produce hard coking coal, pulverized coal injection, and thermal coal from the Greenhills Operations. With an annual production of over 5 million tonnes of coal, the mine life from the current pits is 13 years.
2015 Proven and Probable Reserves at Greenhills include 60.6 million tonnes of hard coking coal, 3.7 million tonnes of pulverized coal injection, and 1.2 million tonnes of thermal coal. Measured and Indicated Resources include 264.5 million tonnes of hard coking coal, 1.8 million tonnes of pulverized coal injection, and 3.6 million tonnes of thermal coal (Information Circular 2016-1).
2016 Proven and Probable Reserves total 173.3 million tonnes of clean metallurgical coal. Resources include 220.1 million tonnes (Measured), 269.5 million tonnes (Indicated), and 182.6 million tonnes (Inferred) of raw metallurgical coal (2016 Teck Annual Information Form, www.teck.com).
The Cougar North Extension, a proposed expansion of the Cougar pit, has undergone intermittent rotary and diamond exploratory drilling since 2008. The Cougar North Extension has similar coal characteristics to the current Cougar pit, and at full development, is planned to merge with the Fording River Swift expansion project (Information Circular 2016-1). As of 2015, baseline environmental work and mine planning was underway to enter pre-application of Environmental Assessment for the Cougar North Extension.