Sherritt Coal is Canada’s largest producer of coal, selling high quality, low sulphur thermal coal primarily to Canadian utilities and industrial customers. Sherritt Coal also exports low sulphur bituminous coal to electricity generators in the Pacific Rim and elsewhere. Value added products include Canada’s first plant producing activated carbon, used in the reduction of mercury from the flue gas of coal fired power plants, and char, used for its high carbon and heat content in the barbecue briquette industry.
Sherritt Coal owns or operates nine surface mines located in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan producing bituminous, sub bituminous and lignite thermal coals. Seven operations are wholly owned, one is a surface mine in which Sherritt has a 50 percent joint venture interest and one is a contract mine. In addition to the operating mines, Sherritt has vast undeveloped coal resources which provide the basis for future business development.
Surface mining operations utilize 21 large draglines to uncover the coal seams; this is the largest dragline fleet in Canada. In addition; four mines employ truck and shovel mining methods to assist in uncovering the coal. These equipment fleets provide the capacity to produce more than 40 million tonnes of coal annually. Mining methods are refined and adapted to maximize recovery of the coal resource.
Sherritt, through its Clean Coal Technologies Centre in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, is conducting research into chemical processing of coal for production of coal liquids that can be converted into high value products, beneficiation for production of higher heating value and lower ash coal, and physical processing and pyrolysis for production of low moisture, thermally stable coal from low rank feeds. This research will enhance the value of coal and increase its long term commercial viability and environmental acceptability.
Environment, health and safety are a primary focus for Sherritt Coal and the company is proud of its significant achievements. During 2010 the Genesee Mine reached the milestone of 22 years without a lost time accident. The Sheerness Mine reached the 15-year milestone. These achievements are industry leading. Reclamation is the final phase of mining at all of their operations, and allows the mined land to return quickly to a subsequent productive land use. Coal Valley Mine, a Mountain Operation, and the Genesee Mine, a Prairie Operation, are past recipients of the Alberta Chamber of Resources, Major Reclamation Award in recognition of outstanding mine reclamation.