Coal mining is an important part of BC’s economy, generating billions of dollars in gross domestic product, millions in revenues for government services, and supporting thousands of jobs. BC is Canada’s largest exporter of coal, as well as one of the largest exporters of steelmaking or metallurgical coal in the world (British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources 2020) (NRCan 2020).
The majority (~ 90 %) of the coal produced in BC is metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel (NRCan 2020).
Metallurgical coal is required to produce steel. There is currently no commercial substitute for coal in the steel production process. Approximately 750 kg of steelmaking coal is used to produce one tonne of steel and the steel used in an average car contains 650 kg of steelmaking coal.
Steel is an important engineering and construction material, making it a fundamental part of quality of life. Steel is part of a low carbon future, and is used in wind turbines, electric cars and solar panels.
Steel is critical to the industrialization of a country and the alleviation of poverty. In fact, often a country's development is measured by the tonnes of steel per capita that a country produces.
See the Resources page for information materials on steelmaking coal.