Mining and Exploration
Mining plays an essential role in Cranbrook’s economy. We are in close proximity to four of the world’s top metallurgical coal mines, which employ over 4,000 people locally.
Among the highest producing coalfields in all British Columbia, these mines produce millions of tons of coal that is shipped around the world. They are also the site of world-class innovation, such as autonomous haul trucks and artificial equipment tracking technology. This has created an anchor and favourable conditions for companies in Cranbrook’s emerging technology cluster.
With strict, world leading regulations, Canada is recognized as a global leader in mining. Environmental sustainability remains a priority focus for the industry.
One of the top minerals produced in Canada, coal is used for thermal and metallurgical applications. The key difference between the two is that thermal coal is used for electricity generation while metallurgical coal is used primary for steelmaking (building infrastructure, such as bridges, hospitals, and schools).
Metallurgical coal is also required for wind, solar and other clean energy projects, as well as hybrid vehicles and other transportation alternatives. Canada is the fourth largest exporter of metallurgical coal, with 85% of supply and production coming from here in B.C. and Alberta.
Most B.C. coal is exported internationally via coal ports on the west coast. A smaller percentage is sent by rail to steel mills in eastern Canada. Connected in both directions by rail, Cranbrook provides a significant advantage to our region’s mining industry.
With the world’s population expected to keep growing and demands for clean and efficient energy projects on the rise, Cranbrook is in a highly attractive position for companies in the coal mining sector.
Additionally, there are numerous mineral mines, rock quarries and artisanal gold operations in the resource rich mountains that surrounding the region, providing further opportunity for those involved in mining and exploration.
Access to an experienced and motivated workforce, combined with tons of available land inventory, means you’ll have no problem finding good employees and an affordable place to base your business – whether it’s a warehouse, design and engineering plant, or head office. Our region’s award-winning College of the Rockies boasts a robust heavy mechanic program and a burgeoning heavy equipment operator program putting Cranbrook in a strong position to meet the ongoing demands of industry with a steady talent pipeline.
Logistics wise, doing business here makes sense. Our two major highways, including the Crowsnest Highway, form direct links to local mines and further connect our region to Canada’s transcontinental highway. The nearby Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC), which offers daily flights to Calgary, Vancouver, and Kelowna, make shipping and receiving a breeze. We are also only an hour away from Canada’s largest trading partner, and just a few hours from Alberta.