About Coal Leasing and Lease Maintenance

The Coal and Mineral Development Unit of the Department of Energy issues and administers agreements relating to exploration and production of Alberta-owned (Crown) coal. Basic information about these agreement types is summarized below.

There are two types of coal leases in Alberta:

  • Coal Lease: A coal lease has a 15 year term and is renewable. It grants the exclusive right to work, win and recover coal in the described location. Depending on the circumstances, a successful coal lease application may lead to an agreement being issued directly to the applicant, or may result in competitive bidding (land sale.) A coal lease does not include the rights to the coal in any road allowances.

  • Coal Lease in a Road Allowance: A coal lease in a road allowance has a 15 year term and is renewable. It grants the right to the coal in a road allowance. This type of lease is required before mining through a road allowance. It is only available to the holder of a mine permit or license in that location. Mine permits and licenses, which provide approval to develop or mine coal, are issued through the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) under the Coal Conservation Act.

The basic requirements of holding a coal lease are payment of annual rent ($3.50 per hectare or $50.00) and payment of royalties on Alberta-owned coal produced from the lease location.

Coal leases are also subject to the following legislation and policies:

Lease Maintenance

The following instructions pertain to coal leases and coal leases in road allowances.

Annual rent

Annual rent on a coal lease is due annually, on or before the lease anniversary date. Rent may be paid by cheque or pre-authorized debit, see Coal Forms.

Payment of royalties

If coal is being produced from the location of a lease, royalty reports and payment must be submitted to Alberta Energy in order to keep the lease in good standing.

Amending a coal lease

A lessee or their designated representative may request changes to a lease, such as changing the ownership of an agreement or reducing the area of the lease.

  • A change of ownership of an agreement is administered by Alberta Energy's Transfers and Encumbrances Unit. This may be done online through the E-Transfers service on this site (see Online Services) or by submitting a completed Coal Form.
  • For further instructions on manually requesting a change of ownership, please refer to the Transfer Form GuidelinesPDF icon
  • Changes to the area of an a lease may be requested in writing to the Coal and Mineral Development Unit. The surrendered lands will become available to others within 48 hours of receiving a surrender request.

Applying to renew a lease

Application to renew should be received by the Department within the last 30 days of the term of the 15 year term of the lease. A letter requesting renewal should be submitted, along with the application fee $625.00 and the next year's rent, to the Coal and Mineral Development Unit.

Surrendering a lease

To request cancellation of a lease, please send a written request to the Coal and Mineral Development Unit. The surrendered lands become available once the Department has processed the cancellation to release the lands. At that time it will show on the Coal Activity Map as available.