British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Responsible for Housing
News | The Premier Online | Ministries & Organizations | Job Opportunities | Main Index

MINFILE Home page  ARIS Home page  MINFILE Search page  Property File Search
Help Help
File Created: 03-Feb-1986 by Eileen Van der Flier Keller (EVFK)
Last Edit:  22-Jan-2018 by George Owsiacki (GO)

Summary Help Help

NMI 093P4 Col1
BCGS Map 093P013
Status Past Producer NTS Map 093P04E
Latitude 055º 13' 54'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 121º 36' 39'' Northing 6121441
Easting 588351
Commodities Coal Deposit Types A04 : Bituminous coal
Tectonic Belt Foreland Terrane Overlap Assemblage
Capsule Geology

The Sukunka property is located in the area between Skeeter, Chamberlain, and Bullmoose Creeks, approximately 40 kilometres west of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. Some of the southern parts of the project area overlapped with the northern parts of the Bullmoose project area (not including the portion mined at surface in the Quintette Bullmoose open pit mine (at Bullmoose South Fork).

Coking coal of low to medium-volatile bituminous rank occurs in the Lower-Upper Cretaceous Gates Formation (Fort St. John Group) which is 180 metres thick, and the Lower Cretaceous Lower and Upper Gething Formation (Bullhead Group), 180 and 60 metres thick respectively, interbedded with sandstone, siltstone, claystone and carbonaceous mudstone.

Five seams, A to E, vary from less than 0.5 metre to 4 metres in thickness and occur in the Gates Formation. The Upper Gething Formation contains the Bird seam, 0.5 to 3.0 metres thick, the Skeeter seam, 1.5 to 2.5 metres thick and the Chamberlain seam, 1.5 to 4.5 metres thick. The Lower Gething Formation contains the "middle coals" which appear to be thinner and generally uneconomic.

The most persistent coal seam in the Gething Formation is the Chamberlain seam. It varies in total seam thickness from 1.37 to 8.30 metres with thickest sections in the southeast Sukunka area and northeast Bullmoose area. The seam splits to the southwest and southeast. Where the seam is split the upper bed is generally thin and of poor quality.

The Skeeter seam is potentially of economic value in the northern part of the Sukunka area. It is a composite seam with dirt bands near the roof and in the lower half. The seam has a total thickness of 1.2 to 4.0 metres and deteriorates and thins to the south. In the north the main bed is 1.2 to 2.1 metres thick and is separated by up to 1.37 metres of carbonaceous siltstone from the bottom bed which is 0.15 to 0.91 metre thick.

The Bird seam, although not considered economic in the Sukunka area, varies up to 2.74 metres thick in the Bullmoose area. It splits towards the south.

The structure consists of a series of gentle northwest trending folds with a main broad syncline. The strata are cut by a series of northwest trending, southwest dipping thrust faults. The northern part of the Sukunka property appears to be more intensely faulted than in the south or in the Bullmoose area.

Raw coal of the Chamberlain seam contains on average 5.5 per cent ash, with specific gravity of 1.60 containing on average 21.9 per cent volatile matter, 4.1 per cent ash, 0.37 per cent total sulphur and 0.024 per cent phosphorous, with a calorific value of 14,740 BTU per pound.

In 1969, Brameda carried field mapping and the drilling of 50 cored boreholes. The next year Brascan completed 128 boreholes, stripping of coal outcrop and the driving of adits (42 metres). In 1977, 60 boreholes were completed on the Bullmoose portion of the property with 28 of them intersecting the Chamberlain seam. Between 1972 and 1977, development adits were driven south of Skeeter Creek at the BP Canada #1 Mine and at the BP Canada Window Mine (also known as the Sukunka Main mine) and bulk samples collected. Coal produced from the development adits totalled 82,058 tonnes.

The Chamberlain seam hosts 170 million tonnes and the Skeeter seam, 13 million tonnes. The Chamberlain seam reserves may, in part, be duplicated in the Bullmoose (Chamberlain) deposit (093P 012) (Mine Development Assessment Process - Sukunka-Bullmoose Stage I Environmental Study, Volume 1-Text, November 1977, page 3).

Xstrata Coal acquired ground between the Sukunka River and West Bullmoose Creek that included the old BP Canada mine areas (#1 and Window), the Saddle Creek seam and the northern part of the old Bullmoose property (north of West Bullmoose Creek). Xstrata submitted a Project Plan to the British Columbia and Canada Environmental Assessment Offices that proposes to mine open pits in the Nose and Window areas, and in the Saddle Creek area, followed by underground development north and south of the Window pit, and south of the Saddle Creek pit (Project Description – Proposed Sukunka Coal Mine project: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and BC Environmental Assessment Office.

Xstrata Coal 2012). The Sukunka project was acquired from Xstrata by Glencore. Xstrata/Glencore programs conducted between 2012 and 2014 by Glencore included drilling (exploration, geotechnical, hydrogeological), 10-tonne bulk sample, trenching, coal quality testing, and feasibility studies (Exploration and Mining in British Columbia, 2014).

Glencore reports 45 million tonnes of Measured Coal Resources, 100 million tonnes of Indicated Coal Resources, and 40 million tonnes of Inferred Coal Resources (Glencore Resources and Reserves 2014 as at December 31, 2014, The Sukunka project was inactive in 2017.

EMPR AR 1972-A48; 1973-A48; 1974-A114; 1975-A88
EMPR COAL ASS RPT *641, *642, *643, *644, *645, *649, *650, *651, *652, *653, *654, *655, *656, *657, *661, *662, *663, *664, *665, *666, 667, *669, *670, *964, 1004
EMPR Coal in British Columbia (1976); Coal Industry Overview 2017, pp. 9,10,13
EMPR ENG INSP Annual Report 1989, 1990
EMPR EXPL *1975-E226,E227; 1977-E272,E273; 1978-E309; 1979-357,358; 1980-560,566,567; 1982-18, 2014-15
EMPR FIELDWORK 1977, p. 60; 1978, p. 86; 1981, pp. 244-258; 1984, pp. 251-277; 1986, pp. 369-382; 1987, pp. 451-470; 1988, pp. 565-576; 1991, pp. 405-417
EMPR GEM *1969-423-425; *1970-525,526; 1971-498,499,501,502; 1972-640, 641; 1973-586; *1974-423,424
EMPR MAP 65 (1989)
EMPR MINING 1981-1985; 1986-1987; 1988
EMPR OF 1987-6,7; 1990-33; 1992-1
EMPR P *1981-3; 1986-3, pp. 18,19
EMPR PF (093P General - Preliminary Feasibility Report on Townsite Community Development (1977); Sukunka Coal Mine Project Brochure; Mathews, W.H. (1950,1952,1954,1955): Various reports on the Peace River District; Map of Dawson Creek area showing leases, wells and seismic surveys; General surficial and bedrock geology maps)
EMPR PF Cyprus Anvil (Brameda Resources Ltd. (undated): Sukunka River Coal Area, Peace River District Map; Brameda Resources Ltd. (1970-03-01): Sukunka River Coal Liard Mining Div. Map; Brameda Resources Ltd. (1972): No. 125 (1972))
EMPR PF Placer Dome (BP Coal Limited (1977): Sukunka/Bullmoose Coal Mine Project; BP Exploration Canada Ltd. (1977): Prospectus for Sukunka/Bullmoose Property)
EMPR PF Rimfire (J.E. Hughes (1970): Chamberlain Prospect: Sukunka Area Progress Report on Drilling and Evaluating, 1969; GCNL (1970): News Clippings - Brameda, Pine Pass Coal Project; Brameda Resources (1969): Topography map of Sukunka River Area)
EMR MP CORPFILE (Brameda Resources Limited; Coalition Mining Limited; Brascan Limited; Teck Corporation Limited)
GSC BULL 132; 152; 219; 250; 259; 328
GSC MAP 19-1961; 2669
GSC OF 286
GSC P 60-16; 61-10; 69-1A, pp. 244,245; 70-1A, pp. 238,239; *89-4, pp. 1-29,50,51,58-63
CIM 77, pp. 142-147
CMJ Apr.4, 2004
N MINER Apr.26, 2004
PR REL Western Canadian Coal Corp., Apr.7, 2004
Stantec Consulting Ltd., 2013. Project Description – Proposed Sukunka Coal Mine project: prepared for Xstrata Coal Canada, Submitted to: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and BC Environmental Assessment Office, 122 p. (