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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Information Circular 2008-2


Contribution to Sustainability in Cement and Coal Production,
Southwest British Columbia, Canada - 2008

by L. Simandl and C.J. Brûlé


View Information Circular 2008-02 (PDF, 1200 Kb)


This Information Circular aims to enhance the sustainable development of coal and cement raw materials in British Columbia. The main objectives of this study are to confirm the chemical composition of the Quinsam coal mine rejects, find out if the rejects from the Quinsam coal mine washing plant have a favourable chemical composition for use as a raw material in cement making and demonstrate how the use of these rejects could benefit coal and cement producers, the environment, and our society.


The rejects from Quinsam coal mine's washing plant represent a valuable raw material for cement making. The inorganic components of the rejects have appropriate Al2O3 - CaO - SiO2 proportions and low Na2O and K2O content (ideal for cement making).  Assuming nearly complete combustion within the conventional cement kiln, the organic components of coal rejects would burn, supplying between 6MJ and 12.5MJ of energy per kg of the feed. The use of these rejects (low grade coal) could extend the life of the mine, reduce or eliminate the problems associated with waste disposal and represent substantial savings for cement producers.  The results of this conceptual study are positive; however, detailed work is needed to quantify the benefits. Such work would be most efficiently accomplished in direct collaboration with cement and coal producers.


Although this research was specific to the Quinsam Coal Mine, the same principles can be applied to other coal operations and deposits where alumina-rich clays or shales with low concentrations of alkali elements are associated with coal.


All publications of the BC Geological Survey are available digitally, free of charge, from this website.


For questions or more information on geology and minerals in British Columbia contact BCGS Mailbox or call toll free (BC Residents only).