Canadian Mining Journal


INNOVATION: Alberta coal mine reclamation to create green energy source

The Paintearth coal mine will be the site of innovative renovation with the potential to supply renewable energy. (Image: Westmorland Mining)

EDMONTON – Alberta Innovates is joining federal, provincial, municipal and industry partners to create a unique method of reclamation at the Paintearth coal mine at Forestburg, Alta. The mine is owned by Westmorland Mining of Englewood, Colo.

The Biosalix project will use municipal organic waste from Edmonton to replenish the soil at the mine site. Then a crop of willow will be grown, and it may be used as a biomass feedstock for renewable energy.

Alberta Innovates is contributing $1.5 million to the project through its Alberta Bio Future (ABF) program. Natural Resources Canada has pledged $3.8 million though its Clean Growth Program, and Emissions Reduction Alberta is adding $2.1 million.

Industry partners, besides the mining company, include the environmental consulting firm Sylvis (leader of the Biosalix project), Epcor Water Services and Bionera Resources. They are providing additional cash and in-kind services with a total value of $10.5 million.

To learn of the wide scope of Alberta Innovates projects, visit