Open File Report 1990-20

Open File Report 1990-20

OFR 1990-20

Future Research Directions in Coal Geology in the Province of Alberta: A Plan of Action

A set of recommendations for future work in coal geology by the ARC included research in the areas of coal quality, regional coal evaluation and database management (Langenberg, et al., 1986). Coal quality ranked at the most important area of research resulting in a decision to focus the 1986-1989 Alberta Geological Survey Coal Geology Program on coal quality studies.

Alberta has an enormous amount of mineable coal. In the Plains region alone, inferred resources of coal total more than 300 billion tonnes (Strobl et al., 1987). The general consensus holds that there is enough coal to last well into the next century. For this reason emphasis is placed on studies addressing coal characterization (which includes improved utilization of coal, aspects of mine planning and coal quality) rather than on the delineation of new resources. These types of studies are in line with the Alberta Coal Research Strategic Plan (ENR, 1983), which plans to enhance the competitiveness of Alberta coals by improving the quality and developing new uses of the coals and with the position of the coal industry (Coal Association of Canada, 1985) which supports research on coal leading to increased coal utilization.M/p>

By taking a commanding role in coal and coal-related studies, Alberta will strengthen its marketing position and ensure proper management of the valuable coal resource. Future research proposed in this document is aimed towards immediate use by government planners and the coal industry and is designed to compliment work done by other research organizations.

In the following discussion, possible contributions by ARC's Coal Geology Group will be identified and ranked according to their priority.