This study was commissioned for Summit Lime Works Limited by Alberta Energy and Natural Resources. Summit Lime Works requires new reserves of high-grade limestone for its Crowsnest Pass lime plant. Reserves in the existing quarry will last only 11 years with the company's proposed plant expansion, projected for 3 or 4 years from now. The company currently quarries 135,000 tonnes of limestone annually; with expansion and modernization are necessary for the company to maintain a competitive position.
Prospective limestone-bearing formations in the Crowsnest Pass region are the Devonian Palliser and the Mississippian Livingstone Formations. The two formations crop out extensively in the vicinity of the Pass and present quarriable situations in several localities with existing access. Summit Lime Works Limited has determined its economic haul limit to be 24 km (15 mi), which limits prospects to two localities for detailed field geological study and evaluation. These are in Phillipps and Deadman Passes, both lying to the north of Crowsnest Pass about 2 km and 8 km respectively. Both are readily accessible by existing roads.
Localities south of Crowsnest Pass that could have potential limestone exploitability lie in the Prime Protection Zone (Eastern Slopes Land Use Management Policy) and are closed to mineral development
Six sites within the two localities selected for field study, and one site between the two, are herein evaluated for limestone exploitability. Sections of the Palliser and Livingstone Formations were measured and sampled systematically and the samples subjected to detailed chemical analyses. These data, along with field geological observations afford a preliminary evaluation of the limestone quality, extent and quarriability at the sites.
Consideration of the feasibility of underground mining at existing quarry sites is based on cursory site observations and a review of the company's internal documentation.