Located south of Lake Wabamun, about 70 kilometres (43 miles) west of Edmonton, Alberta, Highvale Mine is one of three TransAlta-owned surface coal mines, and Canadas largest surface strip coal mine, covering 12,140 hectares.
Highvale has been in operation since 1970. Currently, five pits are actively licensed and mined (pits 03, 04, 05, 06 and 07). Surface coal mining involves removing overlying rock layers to expose and extract coal reserves. Highvale operates four draglines for this purpose.
Approximately 13 million tonnes of low-sulphur-content thermal-grade coal are mined at Highvale each year and delivered to TransAltas Sundance and Keephills thermal generating plants. When the Keephills 3 thermal plant is completed, it will require an additional 1.8 millions tonnes each year.
Since 1970, TransAlta has reclaimed 1,310 hectares of the 4,362 hectares of land that have been mined at Highvale. We reclaim land to a state that is equivalent to or better than it was before our mining activities, or restore it for other uses. When complete, the reclaimed land supports a variety of land uses such as agriculture, woodlands, wildlife habitat, recreation and wetlands.