FAQs

How large is the mine area?

The Grassy Mountain Project will be operated on the land of a legacy strip mine that was abandoned in the early 1960s. The total project footprint (including load out, ponds, facility, dumps, mine, etc.) is approximately 1,500 hectares. The area has a history of various land uses (mining, forestry, grazing, recreation) and approximately 25% of the mine footprint was part of the previously disturbed Grassy Mountain mine.

What is the lifespan of the Grassy Mountain project?

23-25 years

 

Timelines

What stage is mine development in?

The permitting phase. The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) issued a Notice of Application (NOA) on October 31, 2017. We expect the permitting process to take between 12-18 months from the date of issue.

When is construction anticipated to begin?

Construction is expected to take 21 months and will begin when the permitting phase is complete and Riversdale has received the necessary approvals.

When will production start?

Production is targeted to start Q4 2020 but is completely dependent on when a project regulatory decision has been made.

 

Employment

How many jobs will be created?

We expect 385 full time site positions to be created when the mine is in full production.  

How can I apply for a job?

All careers will be posted on our website. We ask that interested individuals hold onto their resumes until a position they are qualified for is posted. We do not have the capacity to store resumes for future use.

 

Environmental Concerns

How will dust be mitigated?

  • Coal will be stockpiled at the coal processing plant, 6km away from town.
  • Coal will be transported to the rail load out via covered conveyor and sprayed with a tackifier (dust suppressant) upon loading to minimize dust associated with rail transport.
  • Active dust suppression will be used on roadways and exposed coal surfaces.
  • Vehicle traffic will be limited and reduced speed limits enforced.

Will the landscape be restored?

Yes. Areas of Grassy Mountain are pre-disturbed due to historical mining activities. Throughout the mine life, Riversdale will conduct progressive reclamation meaning that as the mine is developed, areas that are no longer active (projected to begin in year seven) will be reclaimed, allowing for quicker restoration of the mine site.

All rock disposal areas and mine pit areas will be capped with top soil, and revegetated using native vegetation species.

How will the watersheds be protected?

Multiple water management infrastructure features will be built like sedimentation ponds, surge ponds and the raw water pond. In general, all water whether it’s runoff or contact water, will be contained, treated and tested before it is released into Blairmore Creek or Gold Creek.

 

Mine Infrastructure

What infrastructure features will be built?

Rock disposal area – There are three mine rock disposal sites (the south dump, central dump and north dump). This is where waste material (rock, waste coal) from the mine and the coal processing facility will be deposited. As the mine progresses, the pit will also be filled with waste material prior to being reclaimed. All run-off from the rock disposal area will be collected, treated (if required) and tested prior to release.

Open pit area – This is the area that will be mined from the south end progressing north, then moving east and north again. Throughout the life span of the mine operation, a buffer of 100 metres will be maintained between the bordering watersheds of Blairmore Creek and Gold Creek.

Sedimentation ponds – There are three sedimentation ponds in the project: the northeast and east pond, which are indicated on the map, and the southwest pond, just left of the plant. The purpose of the sedimentation ponds is to capture runoff from the site itself; mostly natural flow, not contact water. The sedimentation ponds are designed to remove sediment that might be present in the water.

Surge pond – Two surge ponds capture runoff water that has been in contact with the coal and waste rock and therefore may have elevated levels of metals (like selenium) which could require treatment prior to its release into the surrounding creeks.

Raw water pond - Most of the water used in operations will come from the raw water pond (RWP). This pond will be one of the first things built once the construction phase begins. The RWP will collect and store any water that may have been exposed to contaminants from the coal operations. As the pond fills, excess water will be injected into the saturated backfill zones where it will be treated and tested prior to being released back into the environment.

Plant site – The main facilities of the project: coal handling and processing plant, maintenance facilities, storage and all coal stockpiles are located here.

Soil Storage area – Top soil will be removed during the construction phase and stored here for use during progressive reclamation.

Road Access & Conveyor – Grassy Mountain Road will be altered slightly and will run parallel to the covered conveyor that will bring the coal down to the load out facilities.

Rail and load out facility – Here, the coal will be loaded onto CP Rail trains and transported to Vancouver, where it will be shipped to overseas markets.

Existing Altalink Transmission line - In the initial project application, Riversdale had proposed relocating the existing 500 kV line running through the mine. In its recent application, Riversdale decided to split the south rock disposal area and avoid the need to relocate the transmission line, effectively reducing the impact on the environment.