Sukunka Project

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Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
 Archived Information
  • Coal (metallurgical)
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Longwall
SnapshotOn December 21, 2022, after careful deliberation, the Government of Canada determined the significant adverse environmental effects of the proposed Sukunka Coal Mine Project, an open-pit metallurgical coal mine located near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, could not be mitigated. The project therefore cannot proceed.


Glencore plc. 100 % Indirect

Deposit type

  • Sedimentary


The Sukunka Project lies within the elongate, disturbed Foothills sedimentary belt of northeastern British Columbia. The coal licenses are underlain by the transgressive/regressive Lower Cretaceous Bullhead and Fort St. John Groups that consist of fluviodeltaic and marine terrigenous clastic sediments that have a maximum composite thickness, excluding those of the Minnes Group, of 1,100 m. The oldest lithologies exposed within the property belong to the Minnes Group. That unit is overlain by the Cadomin, Gething, Moosebar, Gates, Hulcross and Boulder Creek Formations.

In the southern half of the Peace River Coal District the coal beds within the Gates Formation constitute the primary exploration target. Recent mine developments and coal exploration activities have focused on these coals. The Gates Formation is an 80 to 280 m thick interstratified sequence of mainly non-marine sandstone, conglomerate, coal, shale and mudstone. It is separated from the underlying Gething Formation by interstratified fine grained marine deposits assigned to the Moosebar Formation. Within the formation, eleven coal beds that have a maximum thickness of about 10 m and an aggregate thickness of up to 46 m have been reported. Four or five laterally extensive seams, ranging in thickness from 5 to 10 m, are common between Kakwa and Sukunka rivers. The Peace River Arch apparently controlled the northern extent of alluvial-deltaic environments where the major coal beds originated.

Structural deformation of the Cretaceous sequence in the district is characterized by en echelon, northwest-plunging anticlines and synclines, and by southwest-dipping low and medium angle thrust faults, which have repeatedly brought coal measures to the surface. Locally, the tectonic activity has resulted in a thickening of coal beds. At a mesoscopic scale, fault and fold structures can be complex and mining operations can be significantly complicated.

Although the rank of coals that occur in the Gething and Gates Formations ranges from high volatile A to low volatile bituminous, most of the resource is classified as medium volatile bituminous. In some areas mean maximum vitrinite reflectance values exceed 1.5 percent, indicating a rank of semi-anthracite. The coals commonly have sulphur contents of less than 1 percent wt and excellent coking properties. Locally the upper seam in the Gething Formation can have sulphur contents up to about 1.5 percent. Coals within both formations have similar characteristics, and those in the Gates Formation are similar to those of the Luscar Group in the southern Inner Foothills.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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CommodityUnitsAvg. Annual
All production numbers are expressed as clean coal.

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Project Costs

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Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

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