A group of friends walking on a bridge (Patrice Halley photo)
The coal deposits in the Elkford area have been known for at least a hundred years, although it would be safe to assume that Aboriginal people knew where to find coal long before European contact.
While coal mining was actively pursued in the nearby Sparwood area in the early years of the 20th century, the remoteness of the upper part of the Elk Valley made it too expensive to mine coal here.
Open Pit Mine
It was not until 1969, with high demand for coal pushing up world prices, that the first open pit mine was developed in the mountains around Elkford.
Teck's Fording River Operations continues to produce metallurgical coal today, in the company of Teck's nearby Greenhills and Line Creek operations.