Whitewood Mine is one of three TransAlta-owned surface coal mines. It is located north of Lake Wabamun, about 70 kilometres (43 miles) west of Edmonton, Alberta, and has been in operation since 1962. Prairie Mines & Royalty Ltd. (PMRL) operates the mine on behalf of TransAlta.
The Whitewood Mine is a sub-bituminous surface coal mine covering 3,331 hectares (8,231 acres). Surface coal mining involves removing overlying rock layers to extract the coal reserves. The mine operates one Marion 8200 dragline, a piece of equipment used to remove rock layers above the coal seams.
The Whitewood Mine supplies 1.4 million tonnes of coal annually to TransAlta's Wabamun thermal generating plant.
Since 1962, TransAlta has reclaimed more than 75 per cent, or 1,370 hectares of the 1,822 hectares of land mined at Whitewood. TransAlta reclaims land to a state that is equivalent to or better than its original use, or restores it to other uses. Once complete, the reclaimed land supports a variety of land uses, such as agriculture, woodlands, wildlife habitat, recreation and wetlands.