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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  25-Jan-2018 by George Owsiacki (GO)

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NMI 09311 Col1
BCGS Map 093L065
Status Past Producer NTS Map 093L11E
Latitude 054º 37' 38'' UTM 09 (NAD 83)
Longitude 127º 09' 41'' Northing 6054863
Easting 618694
Commodities Coal Deposit Types A04 : Bituminous coal
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Bowser Lake
Capsule Geology

The Telkwa coalfield may be subdivided into Telkwa South, Telkwa North (093L 152) and the Buckley Valley Option. The Telkwa coal mine is located 17 kilometres south of Smithers, straddling Goathorn Creek. It includes production for Goathorn Creek (093L 155).

At least 14 coal seams occur in the Telkwa Basin in the Lower-Upper Cretaceous Skeena Group interbedded with claystone, siltstone, sandstone, conglomerate and minor tuff and lava beds. Within the Goathorn Creek area, 10 major correlatable seams have been found. Average aggregate thickness of the upper 9 seams varies from 14 metres in the east to 18 metres in the west. East of Goathorn Creek, the upper 9 seams range individually from 0.5 to 2.5 metres in thickness. West of Goathorn Creek, individual coal seam intersections up to 7.6 metres thick have been observed. Seam 1 averages 3.5 metres in thickness. In the Telkwa North-Avelling Hill area (093L 152), the upper 9 seams have an aggregate thickness of up to 18 metres. At Pine Creek, some of the upper seams are present in addition to seam 1. These seams are thin, less than 2.0 metres thick, and of unknown lateral continuity. Seam 1 is present with an average thickness of 5 metres at Cabinet Creek. The upper seams are thin in this area.

The coal in the Telkwa occurrence area is high-volatile A bituminous in rank. Overall coal quality values for the Goathorn East, Goathorn West (093L 155) and Telkwa North areas have the following ranges: volatile matter – 26.70 to 28.10 per cent; ash – 8.70 to 9.60 per cent; moisture – 0.92 to 1.23 per cent; fixed carbon – 60.90 to 62.60 per cent; calorific value 7380 to 7540; and sulphur – 1.06 per cent (air dry basis, 1.6 float).

Proven in situ coal reserves in the Goathorn Creek area amount to 50 million tonnes. Areas east and west of Goathorn Creek have been designated as potential open-pit sites. Possible reserves in the area amount to 25.8 million tonnes in the Telkwa North-Avelling Hill, Pine Creek and Cabinet Creek areas (Coal Assessment Reports 232, 233, 238 and 252).

In the Goathorn Creek area, major north trending, normal and reverse faults have divided the property into several fault blocks. The faults are actually fault zones with many imbricates and splays. In the Goathorn East area, the beds strike 350 degrees and dip 10 to 35 degrees east. In the Goathorn West area, the strata generally strike east with southerly dips between 10 and 30 degrees.

North- and east-trending normal faults cut the sequence and a synclinal fold has been identified in the westernmost fault block. In the Telkwa North area, one fault block with a north strike and 10 to 15 degree easterly dip occurs. In the Pine Creek area, a monocline occurs with a strike of 290 degrees and a dip of 5 to 10 degrees. At Cabinet Creek, the strata strikes 330 degrees and dips approximately 13 degrees northeast.

Previous mines in the area include No. 1 mine, No. 2 mine, No. 3 mine, No. 4 mine, No. 4 Extension mine, Luscar open-pit mine and the McNeil mine. Earlier work in the Telkwa Basin was performed by Cyprus Anvil Mining Corporation. In 1978, this included the drilling of six diamond-drill holes for a total of 651.7 metres. A year later another four diamond-drill holes, totalling 310.0 metres, were completed.

Geological reserves in the main deposit are estimated to be 38.7 million tonnes contained within four pit areas (Information Circular 1996-1, page 21).

Manalta Coal Ltd. conducted an extensive exploration program in 1996, including the drilling of 100 holes totalling 15,000 metres. Drilling in the Tenas Creek area, south of Telkwa River, has proved significant resources in three shallow-dipping coal seams. The property now has four areas with mineable coal reserves.

Mineable reserves on the property are estimated at 46 million tonnes; 20 million tonnes in Tenas, 16 million tonnes in Pit 3 and satellite deposits, and 10 million tonnes north of the Telkwa River in Pit 7 and 8 deposits (Exploration in British Columbia 1996, page B7). In 1997, Manalta drilled 128 holes in the Tenas Creek, Pit 3 and West Goathorn areas. The in situ resource of the Telkwa property is estimated at 125 million tonnes. The in situ mineable reserve, contained in 6 separate pits, is estimated at 50 million tonnes (Information Circular 1998-1, page 23). Manalta, now Luscar Ltd., is seeking project approval and proposes to produce 1.5 million tonnes-per-year over a 23-year mine life.

Luscar Ltd. announced in March 2000 that it will not proceed with development of Telkwa Coal.

Altius Minerals Corporation acquired the Telkwa Coal project in May 2014 as part of its acquisition of the Carbon Development Partnership. In September 2014, Altius Minerals Corporation entered into an option and royalty agreement, with a private Australian funded company, Telkwa Coal Ltd. The Telkwa Coal project covers 13,000 hectares of land approximately 5 kilometres southwest of the village of Telkwa and encompasses the Telkwa Coal (this description), Goathorn Creek (093L 155), and Pine Creek (093L 152) occurrences.

In 2016, the Telkwa coal project was acquired by Allegiance Coal Ltd. but remains subject to shareholder approval from seller, Telkwa Coal Limited (TLC) who had optioned the property from Altius Minerals Corporation. A technical report filed in February of 2015 confirmed a global estimate of 165 million tonnes of semi-soft coking coal including 131 million tonnes of Measured plus Indicated resources, and 33.4 million tonnes of Inferred resources. During 2015 and the first half of 2016, TLC completed two internal scoping studies. One study focussed on updating aspects of a 1996 feasibility study assuming a constantrate of production versus the second study which proposed a staged approach of an initial small mine gradually transitioning into a major mine. Both studies focussed on producing a low ash semi-soft coking coal at a yield of around 70 per cent to be marketed to Asian steel markets. Both studies indicated favorable economics using a late 2015 coal spot price.

Telkwa Coal Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Allegiance Coal Limited. In 2017, Allegiance Coal Limited completed a Pre-Feasibility Study for the first phase of a staged development of the Telkwa coal deposit. The company plans to produce 250,000 tonnes per year during a 19-year mine life from the Tenas Pit.

EMPR AR 1944-88,126; 1945-139,171; 1946-218,247; 1947-238,264; 1948-204,232-233; 1949-278,308; 1950-244,273-274; 1951-249,288, *291-297; 1952-286,319-321; 1953-226,255-257; 1954-214,245-247; 1955-133,161; 1956-198,224-225; 1957-121,145; 1958-135,154; 1959-253,273; 1960-218,238; 1961-253,273; 1962-258,278; 1963-239,264; 1964-308,326; 1965-390,391,410; 1966-375,376,393; 1969-A49; 1970-A48; 1972-A48; 1973-A48; 1974-A114; 1975-A88; 1976-A98; 1977-110; 1978-122; 1979-122
EMPR COAL ASS RPT *232, *233, 237, *238, *252, 828, 844, 863, 974, 1008
EMPR EXPL 1996-A25,B7; 1997-14; 1986-C475; *1989-175-179, Vol. 1, p. 52; 1998-13; 1999-19-31
EMPR FIELDWORK *1982, pp. 113-121; *1983, pp. 81-90; 1988, pp. 195-208; 1991, pp. 451-460
EMPR GEOL 1977-1981, p. 129
EMPR INF CIRC 1989-5; 1993-13, p. 15; 1994-1, p. 15; 1994-19, p. 17; 1995-1, p. 17; 1995-9, p. 21; 1996-1, p. 21; 1997-1, p. 23; 1999-1, pp. 12,13; 2010-3; 2011-4; 2012-2, p. 3; 2013-2, p. 3; 2014-5, p. 3; 2015-3, p. 3; 2016-2, p. 3; *2017-1, pp. 150,163,167,168; 2017-2, p. 3; *2018-1, pp. 2,22,31,122,134,138; 2018-2, pp. 3,9,10
EMPR MAP 65 (1989); 69-1
EMPR MINING 1975-1980, p. 52; 1981-1985, p. 79; 1986-1987, p. 76; 1988, p. 77
EMPR OF 1989-16; 1992-1; 1994-1
EMPR P 1986-3, *1986-5, pp. 11-17; 1991-2
EMPR PF (Adamson, T.J. (1978): Telkwa Coal Project - Report on 1978 Fieldwork; unpublished report by Buckley Valley Collieries Ltd.; Environmental Assessment Office (1997): Telkwa Coal Project, report in part from
EMPR PF Cyprus Anvil (T.J. Adamson and T. Vanugh-Thomas (1980): Correspondence, Licences, Statements on the Telkwa Project; T.J. Adamson (1979): Telkwa Coal Project - Surface Work Permit #C-123 Annual Reclamation Report for Coal Exploration; T.J. Adamson (1978): Telkwa Coal Project - Report on 1978 Field Work; T.J. Adamson (1980): Telkwa Coal Project - Report of 1979 Diamond Drilling)
GSC OF 351
GSC P *89-4, pp. 39-41
CMJ August 1997, p. 29
PR REL Altius Minerals, Sept.23, 2014