The Saxon coal property is located about 109 kilometres south-southeast of Tumbler Ridge along and near Saxon Creek.
The region is underlain by an assemblage of sedimentary rocks consisting mainly of continental margin and shelf facies rocks. This assemblage was deposited on and to the west of the ancestral North American craton. These sedimentary rocks, for the most part typical miogeoclinal facies, range in age from Hadrynian to Upper Cretaceous. Structurally these rocks are part of the Foreland Thrust and Fold Belt of the North American Cordillera.
The coal measures of the region occur mainly in Cretaceous sediments deposited unconformably on older miogeoclinal strata. These sediments were subjected to fold and thrust tectonics which also affected the older rocks.
Six main coal seams occur in the Lower Cretaceous Gates Formation (Fort St. John Group) (average thickness 365 metres) and reach an average total thickness of 18 metres. The seams are concentrated towards the base of the formation and are identified as seams 1 to 5 and seam 10 from oldest to youngest. Seams 1, 2 and 4 form the bulk of the coal-bearing section and together with seam 3 in Saxon South, form the basis for the reserve calculations. The coal occurs interbedded with sandstone, claystone, siltstone and conglomerate.
Seam 1 thickens to the north where several splits are present. Seam 2 is present throughout the property but is characterized by a thick rock band in the south. Seam 3 is absent near the property centre but occurs in the north and south. Seam 4 increases in thickness at the centre of and to the south of the property. Seam 5 is characterized by abundant splitting and lensing. Seam 10 is present in the south and lenses out towards the north.
Thicknesses of the main seams appear to demonstrate no major lateral changes over short distances. Seam 4 in the Saxon South area is thickest along the axis of the main anticline and thins towards the limbs, probably as a result of tectonic thickening.
The structure of the property consists of a large, complex, northwest trending synclinorium plunging from the north and south of the property, towards the centre. The area is cut by numerous northwest trending, predominantly southwest dipping thrust faults.
Total inferred and indicated reserves in place, mineable by both surface and underground methods are 426.1 million tonnes coal (Coal Assessment Report 627, page 2). Western Canadian Coal plans to develop this deposit. Prior to 1983, exploration was largely conducted by Denison Mines. Resources calculated at Saxon East stand at 26.8 million tonnes (Northern Miner - April 12, 1999).
In 2013, the Belcourt-Saxon (093I 014, 16) is a joint venture project of the Belcourt Saxon Coal Ltd. Partnership, comprising Anglo American plc-Peace River Coal Inc. (50 per cent) and Walter Energy Inc.-Western Coal Company (WEWC) (50 per cent). At year-end 2012, WEWC reported 28.5 million tonnes recoverable reserves (Proven and Probable) for the Saxon properties, classified as Prefeasibility, and a 2005 report estimated a resource of 53.1 million tonnes (Indicated - Saxon East) and 167.3 million tonnes (Inferred - Saxon East, South, and Omega). The combined Bel-Sax project extends northwest from the Alberta border for about 70 kilometres.