Highvale Mine

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusClosing / Closed
  • Coal (thermal)
Mining Method
  • Dragline
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start... Lock
SnapshotActive coal mining at TransAlta’s Highvale Mine ceased at the end of December 2021 with the end of coal-fired generation at the Keephills and Sundance power plants. Operations at the Highvale Mine shifted to full-time reclamation in January 2022 with plans to have the Highvale Mine fully reclaimed by 2046.

TransAlta submitted under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (“EPEA”) a combined Decommissioning Plan and Final Reclamation Plan for the Highvale Mine to the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”). At the same time, TransAlta filed a 10-year Renewal for the Highvale Mine under EPEA, the Water Act and the Coal Conservation Act in June 2022.


TransAlta Corp. 100 % Indirect
SunHills Mining LP (operator) 100 % Direct
SunHills Mining LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of TransAlta, assumed operation and management control of the Highvale Mine in 2013.

Deposit type

  • Sedimentary


Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



Approximately 13 million tonnes of low­sulphur content thermal­grade coal are mined at Highvale each year and delivered to TransAlta’s Sundance and Keephills thermal generating plants. The Keephills 3 thermal plant began commercial operations in 2011 requiring an additional 1.8 million tonnes each year.

The Sundance power plant is the largest coal fired electrical generating facility in western Canada, with six generating units. A 53 megawatt uprate to Sundance 5 was completed in 2009 at a cost of $75 million. Additionally, a 44-megawatt uprate was completed on Sundance 6 in 2001 and a 53-megawatt uprate on Sundance 4 in 2007.

In May 2015, TransAlta completed a 15-megawatt uprate on Sundance 3.

Keephills 3, the 495-megawatt gross (MW) coal fired generating facility, the most advanced coal-fired plant ever built in Canada, began commercial operation on September 1, 2011.


CommodityUnits2018 *
* Average annual production reported in 2018

Operational metrics

Annual mining capacity 13 Mt of ROM coal

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 30, 2023

Aerial view:


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