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Home > History of Development > Technology Through Time > Coal

Technology Through Time

Coal 

Keenbirn Collieries, c.1940.For centuries, coal has been used as a source of heat energy.  Alberta is lucky.  The province benefits from an abundance of coal, which is used mainly as a fuel to produce electricity.  In Alberta, the major value of our coal is as a fuel.  Alberta coal burns relatively cleanly compared to other coals throughout the world.  

Throughout Alberta's history, over 1,700 mines are known to have operated.  In Lethbridge, the first coal mine was opened in 1882; a year later, Edmonton followed suit.  Clearly, coal mining has played an important part in Alberta's history and prosperity and continues to this day.

Coal Mine Interior—1907The life of the coal miner has always been a difficult and dangerous one.  The technology behind coal resource development has helped recover the resource in a safer and more efficient manner.  The technological developments have also helped to expand upon the uses of coal.  Realizing the past difficulties of resource recovery in the case of coal works as an incentive to continue to develop new, safer, and more efficient ways of using this continually valuable resource.      

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