Advanced Tailings Management Technologies

Our tailings management strategies align with regulatory requirements based on two key principles: 

1. Creating landforms that fit within the local landscape. 

2. Supporting productive wetlands and boreal forest habitats. Our processes focus on preventing fluid tailings (FT) through optimizations and continuous improvements. 

Our technologies are increasing water recycling and improving tailings consolidation over time, to ultimately accelerate the reclamation process. We are also optimizing and sharing knowledge and technologies between the Horizon and Albian operations, as well as with industry through COSIA, with the goal of increasing operational efficiency. 

As part of innovation efforts around tailings management, our Horizon site has been operating a test pilot project on the In Pit Extraction Process (IPEP). This project has potential to:

  • reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 40% in our bitumen production operations compared to conventional oil sands mining processing plants by minimizing transportation;
  • accelerate reclamation and, potentially eliminate the need for future fluid tailings ponds through the production of “dry” stackable tailings; and;
  • reduce production costs by approximately $1 to $2/barrel while substantially reducing tailings management costs and liabilities. 

Learn more about the IPEP project in this video

For more information on how the Canadian energy industry is working together to advance tailings management practices, visit the Mining Association of Canada and the Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance – Tailings Management page.