03 CGrant Newcomers perspective


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Bitumen Extraction and Water Management Randamp;D Needs from the Newcomers Perspective


Outline Background Fort Hills Project Muskeg River Mine Project Extraction Process Issues Water Chemistry Issues Proposed Areas of Focus Summary

Lease Locations: 

Fort Hills leases - located 90 km north of Fort McMurray on northern border of Syncrude Aurora North Leases Albian’s Muskeg River Project is located south of Syncrude Aurora Lease Fort Hills Syncrude Lease Locations

Project Schedules: 



Fort Hills Oil Sands Shovel/Truck Feeder/Crusher Slurry Preparation Feed Surge Hydrotransport to Extraction Bitumen Froth Low Energy Extraction Thickener Thickened Fine Tailings Sand Tailings Warm Water Return Solvent Paraffinic Froth Treatment Solvent Recovery Bitumen to Pipeline Terminal

Albian Sands Extraction Flowsheet: 

Tailings Settling Pond Reject Disposal Hydrocyclone Recycle Water Coarse Tailings Semi-Mobile Crusher / Sizer Bitumen Froth Steam Vent Thickened Fine Tailings Extraction Primary Separation Vessel Primary Flotation Cells Slurry Conditioning Slurry Pump Box Rotary Breaker Hot Water Pipeline conditioning Thickener Recycle Water Flocculant Feed Preparation Froth Treatment Tailings Chemicals (as req’d) Air Oversize Secondary Flotation Cells Albian Sands Extraction Flowsheet t

Fort Hills Water Management Concept: 

Fort Hills Water Management Concept Control Recycle Water Quality Avoid addition of basal and surficial waters that are high in ionic strength Avoid chemical treatments that significantly increase RCW ionic strength Achieve faster consolidation, earlier reclamation, and avoid a large tailings pond Develop and implement thickened tailings technology

Fort Hills Water Management Concept: 

Ext’n Plant Tailings Thickening Out-of-pit Tailings Area Surficial Aquifer Basal Aquifer Environment Treat 1 Treat 2 Warm Water Recycle Water Mids Coarse Tailings Re-use Salt Re-inject Discharge Discharge Thickened Tails De-salination Option H2S Removal Fort Hills Water Management Concept

Albian Tailings and Water Management: 

Tailings Settling Pond Hydrocyclone Recycle Water Coarse Tailings Thickened Fine Tailings Thickener Recycle Water Flocculant Froth Treatment Tailings Extraction Plant Athabasca River Water Basal Aquifer Water In-Pit Tailings NST Pond Gypsum Recycle Water In-Pit Year 2007 Albian Tailings and Water Management

Extraction Issues: 

Extraction Performance Ore Specific Process Specific Lower Temp. Performance Dilution, operability, chemical strategies (Grade, Fines, etc…) NIRA signature, Methylene Blue, Microscopy Water Chemistry Conventional Emerging Dissolved Salts Ca, Mg, HCO3 Effect Tailings Process Aids Extraction Process Aids Extraction Issues

Water Issues: 

Water Management Extraction Circuit Environment Impact of salinity on perf. or treatment costs Impact of discharge Impact of ionic strength on air attachment Impact of fines recycle on recovery Tailings Circuit Ore fines loading Ext’n Process Aids Tailings Process Aids Water Issues

Proposed Extraction Focus Areas: 

Proposed Extraction Focus Areas Premiss is that ore characteristics are key driver Propose joint industry cooperation through CONRAD Develop laboratory scale extraction unit which simulates commercial performance

Extraction Focus Areas Cont’d: 

Understand link between commercial performance and emerging indicators NIRA, Methylene Blue, Microscopy Develop methods of using new indicators on core samples Modify Mine plans and processing strategies based on learnings Extraction Focus Areas Cont’d

Proposed Water Focus Areas: 

Proposed Water Focus Areas Further work to quantify the impact of various ion concentrations on extraction recovery and tailings performance Identify cost effective water treatment technologies

Water Focus Areas cont’d: 

Further studies to better understand the impact of water disposal strategies Natural Waters - Re-injection and discharge of surficial and basal waters Process affected waters - Appropriate treatment methods and disposal strategies Water Focus Areas cont’d

Technology Issues for New Oilsands Developers: 

Water Management Access to adequate water supplies Maintaining process water quality Tailings Management Reduction in tailings pond volumes Management of Ca, Mg, SO4 from CT release water Development of flocculants and thickeners for paste technology Development of methods for depositing non-segregating tailings Technology Issues for New Oilsands Developers

Technology Issues Cont’d: 

Technology Issues Cont’d Energy Conservation Lower temperature extraction processes Maintaining bitumen recoveries with lower temperature extraction processes Environmental Lowering CO2 emissions Tailings reclamation programs

Summary Comments: 

Summary Comments Advocate a cooperative approach between industry, regulators, and stakeholders Consider water management and extraction fundamentals non-competitive CONRAD should continue coordination role Start with the end in mind What is an ideal grass-roots approach? How can we move in this direction rather than use an incremental approach?

Summary Continued: 

Summary Continued Need an overall water strategy that recognizes the links between extraction andamp; tailings performance, andamp; recycle water quality Avoid analyzing extraction, tailings, and environmental performance separately - consider 'full cycle impacts'. To the extent we avoid water discharge we accumulate an environmental and/or economic liability. More work is required to understand the implications of discharge. Education is key for industry, regulators, and stakeholders.

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