Telkwa Collieries 1913 BC archives

Telkwa’s long history with coal

Coal was first discovered in Telkwa in 1901.

Allegiance Coal Ltd wants coal in its stocking next year.

The mining company hopes to join the long list of companies that have built a mine in the Telkwa coal fields.

Allegiance Coal Ltd. acquired the rights to develop the mining project in September 2016. A pre-feasibility study released in July by the company found there is 42.5 million tonnes of saleable coal in the project area.

That coal is metallurgical coal which is used in the production of steel. Seventy per cent of steel created today uses metallurgical coal.

Coal was first discovered in Telkwa at Goathorn Creek, about eight kilometres south of the village, in 1901. Over the course of the next decade several companies conducted exploration and development projects in the area, but it wasn’t until 1918 that the first official coal production from the McNeil Mine began.

“Mining started at a rate of 14 tons per day and later up to 45 tons per day,” wrote Manalta Coal Ltd in its summary of coal mining in Telkwa in its late 1990s project application. “Coal was hauled out by sleigh to the Telkwa siding and sold in Prince Rupert.”

According to Manalta Coal Ltd., the Goathorn Creek Valley mine produced 1,280 to 1,700 tonnes of coal per year between 1926 and 1927 thanks in large part to the Province of British Columbia building roads into the area.

In 1930, Frank Dockrill of Bulkley Valley Collieries Ltd. opened a mine that became the dominant force in the area.

“Between 1930 and 1940 all coal production came from this mine,” reads a report by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Markets included domestic heating (mostly local) and, during the war, they supplied the United States Army near Prince Rupert.”

Bulkley Valley Collieries continued its success when it opened a second mine in 1943.

“Production during the late 1940s and early 1950s was about 9,000 tons per year and the price was $ 8 per ton for run-of-mine and up to $10.47 for sized coal,” wrote Manalta Coal Ltd.

In 1951, Bulkley Valley Collierie, in conjunction with the federal government drilled 33 diamond drill holes on both sides of the Goathorn Creek valley in an attempt to locate commercial quantities of coal. They were unable to recover any of their findings due to poor equipment the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resource said.

Coal production slowed down as the industrial market disappeared thanks to new fuel sources, thus production was limited to domestic use.

The Gething mine produced just over 15,000 tonnes from its underground operations between 1972 and 1986 according Manalta Coal Ltd. Afterwards, there weren’t any major coal projects until a proposal by Luscar Ltd. in 1997.

The company submitted an application to develop a coal mine near Telkwa but it was shelved due to low coal prices according to the Village of Telkwa’s website.

Allegiance Coal Ltd. plans to conduct more studies of the area and consult with First Nations before moving on to the next stage of the project.

The company held an open house meant to be invite-only regarding the project in November. It plans a larger open house by spring.

“I think we’re at a stage where we’re still early in the process … We want to give [people] a kind of first look at it to see where we are before we go into a big open house where there could be 200-300 people there,” said Allegiance Coal chief operating officer Dan Farmer in an interview with The Interior News in November.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Infrastructure and baseline sampling locations map displayed at what Allegiance Coal employees described as a “coffee talk” that was invite only. Word spread and more people showed, but Allegiance Coal plans on a formal open house sometime in the first quarter of 2018.

Just Posted

A grizzly that was spotted near Newens Road in Smithers has been captured, tagged and relocated. (photo from Facebook)
Dohler Flats grizzly relocated by Smithers COs

The four-year-old male was relocated a couple of hours south of Houston

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Oct. 27 saw 14 cases reported, the biggest single-day total since the beginning of the pandemic

This weapon was seized by Houston RCMP after a traffic stop Oct. 14 (Houston RCMP photo)
Guns, cash and suspected narcotics seized

Seizure follows traffic stop on Oct. 14

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read