Aurora North Tailings Management
The Aurora North tailings management project involves the construction of a composite tails (CT) plant at Syncrude’s Aurora North mine. A similar plant already operates at the Mildred Lake mine. It is part of Syncrude’s government-regulated tailings plan to manage tailings for eventual reclamation as its mines mature. A CT plant mixes mature fine tailings with gypsum and coarse tailings sand to transform the mature fine tailings into solid material suitable for reclamation.
The Aurora North tailings management project was completed in 2013, ahead of schedule and under the total estimated cost of $300 million.
Centrifuge Tailings Management
Syncrude has piloted centrifuge technology, compared it to alternative methods for processing tailings, and believes centrifuge technology is an effective solution for meeting the requirements of its plan for tailings management. Centrifuge technology produces a soft, clay-rich soil that can be used in Syncrude's reclamation efforts.
|Target in-service date
||Total cost estimate net to COS (estimated accuracy)
||Estimated % complete*
||$700 million (+/- 15%)
* The estimated % complete is based on hours spent as a % of total forecasted hours to project completion.
Syncrude has a multi-pronged approach to managing its tailings which includes water capping in addition to CT and centrifuge. See Tailings Management for more information on Syncrude’s plan to manage tailings.
Syncrude continues to work with other oil sands operators as part of the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance ("COSIA") to research and develop tailings management technologies.