The major aggregate deposits (1,000,000 m3 or more) in the Cold Lake study area are found as: intermediate level terraces in the Beaver River valley (six deposits), terraces in the Mooselake River valley (two deposits), and outwash deposits in the Elk Point area (three deposits). These deposits at present provide a fairly even distribution of aggregate throughout the region so that the major aggregate consumers (towns of St. Paul, Bonnyville, Grand Centre, Medley and Cold Lake; County of St. Paul; Municipal District of Bonnyville; and Alberta Transportation) have relatively convenient supplies of sand and gravel.
The greatest exploitation of the resource to date has occurred in the lower Beaver valley (east of the Sand River) and many of the deposits in this area are nearing depletion. Development has begun in the Mooselake River valley to supply aggregate to this northeast region. The outwash deposits are also undergoing development as major sources of aggregate for St. Paul and the southern half of the study area.
The substantial size of deposits and their distribution has prevented shortages of aggregate in most parts of the study area. Yet the resource is finite and dwindling. If oil sands development proceeds at a high rate the northeastern part of the study area will be depleted of gravel by 1997 and the entire region by the year 2032. A detailed, overall management plan should be followed if the remaining resource is to be efficiently used.
Edwards, W.A.D. and Fox, J.C. (1980): Sand and gravel resources of the Cold Lake area, Alberta; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Open File Report 1980-08, 62 p.