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End pits and drying stripsTools and technologies on the path to tailings reclamation
Oilsands tailings ponds are a central part of the bitumen extraction process, but they are also one of the industry’s biggest problems. They occupy just under 180 square kilometres of the Athabasca oilsands region and, as mining production grows, so does the visibility and environmental challenge of tailings. Fortunately, mining project owners and their suppliers are well along the path to commercialization of the technologies that will help minimize the tailings challenge.
Recovery momentumGovernment funding and industry recognition bolster the future prospects for Titanium Corporation’s unique tailings management process
The year is off to a good start for Titanium Corporation, developer of a pre-commercial technology for recovering heavy minerals, bitumen and solvents from the oilsands tailings waste stream. Titanium recently “expanded its portfolio of intellectual property” and its coffers with the award of two new patents as well as new grants from the Government of Canada that bring federal and provincial funding to date beyond $10 million. The next step, says Titanium president and chief executive officer Scott Nelson, is to advance negotiations with oilsands producers to execute a commercial project.
According to the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), there are 29 end-pit lakes currently planned for the oilsands mining region in the decades to come as operating and planned projects reach the end of their operational lives.
A beautiful bargeSuncor’s tailings water pumping system celebrated by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction
Thanks to its new tailings management technology, TRO (which stands for tailings reduction operations), Suncor Energy Inc. has been able to cancel plans for five additional tailings ponds—an impressive feat of innovation. But the full commercial implementation of TRO has not been as simple as flipping a switch. The daunting challenge of separating massive volumes of thickened tailings from their cages of water has demanded equally impressive tools.
Breaking down $1.4 trillionCERI’s latest numbers show future MRO requirements rising quickly
For oilsands producers, investing in new projects is big business. But keeping those projects running over their lifespans of decades is much, much bigger, and the forecast for associated cash inputs continues to rise.
Turnarounds: the litmus test for the safety mindset“The maiming and the deaths were horrific.
The speaker is Concordia University College of Alberta history professor Sandy Gow, talking about working in the oilpatch more than half a century ago, long before effective safety regulations were introduced. Conditions have improved almost beyond imagination since then, not only because of technical and equipment advances, but because oilpatch employers are pouring effort into the people factor.
MRO's big fiveThe oilsands industry's largest consumables by volume
For more than a century, Richmond Hill, Ont. –based Acklands-Grainger has made a business of providing various industries with the supplies they need to maintain uptime and productivity.
Oilsands Statistics (subscription required)
News Updates (subscription required)
May 16, 2013
A group of scientists, academics, economists and environmental groups from around the world has come together to set up a new website designed to "set the record straight" about the Alberta oilsands.
May 16, 2013
Osum Oil Sands Corp. is positioned to proceed to the next phases of oilsands investments at Saleski and Cold Lake while continuing to derisk an expanding portfolio, says its top executive.
The eighth edition of the Heavy Oil and Oilsands Guidebook, the annual supplement to Oilsands Review, is now available. Published each year since 2006, the Heavy Oil and Oilsands Guidebook series is a must-have for anyone with an interest in the oilsands industry. The 2013 edition takes a deep dive into the industry’s challenges and [...]
* Expressed as a basis to WTI