This Atlas Mine was the last large mine of the Drumheller Valley, operating from 1956 until its official closing in 1981. Miners entered the mine by a vertical shaft approximately 150 metres deep. Supplies and the coal were hoisted to and from the mine in this shaft. A railway hauled the coal five miles from the shaft to a dumper; it was then moved on to a conveyor system and into the tipple for screening, and finally loaded into rail cars and trucks for customers. The old tipple that was used by this mine currently comprises the major display at the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site.
The Atlas Mine contained a thick seam of high quality subbituminous coal with exceptional burning qualities and available in large chunks for the domestic market.
In the last few years before the mine officially closed, visitors were taken on underground tours with experienced old-time miners. The tour and accompanying commentary gave visitors a glimpse of the working conditions and methods used by East Coulee miners.
There was sincere sadness among the substantial number of former Atlas miners when, in 1984, a crew of men removed the underground equipment from the mine and filled in the shaft. Many pieces of equipment from the mine are on display at the National Historic Site and throughout the Valley.