Highvale Mine

Fueling TransAlta’s Alberta coal-fired generating facilities

About SunHills Mining

SunHills Mining LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of TransAlta, assumed operation and management control of the Highvale Mine in 2013. Highvale is one of three TransAlta-owned coal mines and is Canada’s largest surface-strip coal mine covering more than 12,600 hectares.

In operation since 1970, the Highvale Mine is located 70 km west of Edmonton on the south side of Lake Wabamun and supplies TransAlta’s Sundance and Keephills coal-fired power plants with sub-bituminous, low-sulphur coal.

Mining Operations

Currently, five pits are licensed in the mine. Highvale delivers approximately 8 million tonnes of low-sulphur coal each year to TransAlta’s Sundance, Keephills and Keephills 3 thermal generating plants.

The Highvale Mine is a surface coal mine that involves salvaging of topsoil and subsoil for later replacement, then removing overlying rock layers to expose and extract coal reserves, followed by reclamation of the mined area.

Equipment Details


  • CAT 8750 – 84 cubic metre bucket
  • CAT 8750 – 76 cubic metre bucket
  • CAT 8050 – 48 cubic metre bucket
  • CAT Erie 1360 – 41 cubic metre bucket

Haul Trucks

  • Six 400 tonne Liebherr T 282 Bs
  • Nine 320 tonne Komatsu 930 Es
  • Six 190 tonne CAT 789
  • Fourteen 150/154 tonne CAT 776
  • Six Terex MT4400

Electric Shovels/Excavators

  • CAT 7495 – 57 cubic metre bucket
  • P&H 4100 – 43 cubic metre bucket
  • Two CAT RH170 Excavators
  • Three BE 190
  • Hitachi 3500 Front shovel
  • RH200 Hydraulic shovel