Coal is the province’s number one export commodity, with $3.32 billion of coal mined in 2016. Much of this is metallurgical coal, which is exported to Asia for the making of steel.
In recent years, however, Vancouver’s coal ports have also accommodated a massive increase in exports of thermal coal, which is used for the production of electricity.
In 2008, only 4.4 million tonnes of Vancouver’s coal exports could be called non-metallurgical. By 2017, this had more than doubled to 11.3 million tonnes.
Controversially, almost all of this thermal coal is coming from the United States. As lawmakers in Washington and Oregon have begun shutting downtheir own coal ports due to environmental concerns, thermal coal producers in Wyoming and Montana have simply diverted their product through Canada.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 24 February 2019 - 05:15 PM.