Horizon Oil Sands

Horizon Oil Sands

 Horizon North Pit Extension (NPE) Project

Canadian Natural is proposing a northeast mine pit extension (NPE Project) of the previously approved North Mine Pit at the Horizon Oil Sands Processing Plant and Mine (Horizon). The extension will be immediately adjacent and east of the existing approved North Pit, west of the Athabasca River and is within the Alberta Energy Regulator’s Approved Project Area for Horizon.

The NPE Project is required to sustain approved production rate for Horizon that includes proposed extensions of approved and new overburden storage areas. The mine extension and the additional area required for overburden storage represents an increase in disturbance area of approximately 7% and 11%, respectively. The proposed extension will be actively mined for approximately seven years with all ore continuing to be processed at the existing Horizon Central Processing Facility. Accordingly, an increase in water withdrawal from the Athabasca River is not required for this Project.  The extension would be a continuation of the mine sequence, additional workforce would not be required and would not result in an increase in population, housing or camp requirements, local or regional traffic, and would not impact local or regional infrastructure or community services.

The area associated with the North Pit Extension was not previously included in the Horizon 2002 Environmental Impact Assessment. As a result, Canadian Natural is preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Project with a focus on the potential incremental impacts that may result from the extension. The Environmental Impact Assessment will assess the potential impacts of the project on surface water, aquatic resources, groundwater, air, soil, wildlife, vegetation, biodiversity, historical resources, resource use and traditional land use, and will outline Canadian Natural’s proposed mitigation measures, as required. Baseline studies have been initiated and will continue through 2017.

Canadian Natural will be seeking regulatory approvals by amending the current Horizon approvals under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Water Act, Public Lands Act and Oil Sands Conservation Act through an Integrated Application. Existing environmental management and monitoring programs will be expanded to accommodate the development of the proposed Project.

The NPE Project is expected to include the following changes to the Horizon Mine:

  • Extension of the approved north mine pit to include the NPE Project area (1,346 ha);
  • Additional overburden storage areas (2,102 ha); and
  • Updated closure and reclamation plans.

Details regarding the project can be viewed in the following documents:

For further information on the project or associated project information, please contact Canadian Natural Resources Limited by email and attention to either: Mrs. Anita Sartori (Manager, Projects & Approvals, Development Operations).

For media inquiries, please contact:


Mailing address:
Canadian Natural Resources Limited
Suite 2100, 855 - 2 Street S.W.
Calgary, AB  T2P 4J8