Overview of coal in BC

Map of coalfields and coal mines in British Columbia

Coal mining is a major industry in British Columbia. Coal production employs thousands of people and coal sales generate billions of dollars in annual revenue.  Coal production currently represents over half of the total mineral production revenues in the province. 

Over 95 per cent of coal currently produced in BC is metallurgical coal, which is used in the production of steel from iron ore.  The province also produces some thermal coal. Most BC coal is exported internationally via coal ports on the west coast near Vancouver and Prince Rupert. A smaller percentage is sent by rail to steel mills in eastern Canada.

Recent Publications

Coal resources

For information on coal assessment reports and search the collection of coal reportsInformation on the Dominion Coal BlockGeoFile 2020-09: Table of British Columbia coal resources, 2020

Links to other coal-related resources

Information on the administration and legislation governing coal rights in BCStatistics on coal from the BC production data archiveReports and references on coalbed gas in BC

General references on coal in BC

  • Gardner, S.L., 1995. Coal Resources and Coal Mining on Vancouver Island. British Columbia Ministry of Employment and Investment, British Columbia Geological Survey, Open File 1997-19.
  • Grieve, D., 1985. Coalfields of the East Kootenay Region, Southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Special Volume 31, Coal in Canada, pages 203-211.
  • Martonhegyi, F., 1985. Intermontane Coal Basins in the Western Cordillera. Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Special Volume 31, Coal in Canada, pages 269-277.
  • Pearson, D.E., 1980. The Quality of Western Canadian Coking Coals. Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Bulletin v. 73.
  • Price, J.T. and Gransden, J.F., 1987. Metallurgical Coals in Canada: Resources, Research and Utilization. Energy Mines and Resources Canada, CANMET Report 87-2E.