Canadian Mining Journal


TAILINGS STUDY – Canada, U Alberta Open New Labs

ALBERTA - NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA and the UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA's Faculty of Engineering have opened their $2.2-mi...

ALBERTA – NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA and the UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA’s Faculty of Engineering have opened their $2.2-million Oil Sands Tailings Research Facility (OSTRF) in Devon, 40 km southwest of Edmonton. This is close to CANMET’s established Energy Technology Centre.

OSTRF is an academic and industrial research facility dedicated to developing novel approaches to oil sands tailings treatment. It will attract world-class students and researchers and train significant pools of engineers and technicians.

The facility will consist of three independent research departments for delivery, treatment and deposition of tailings. OSTRF’s research outcomes will include efficient tailings management, minimized environmental impact of material handling, prevention of adverse environmental releases, efficient use of water, sustainable landscape, progressive reclamation and more. This research is critical for industry to meet environmental regulations, address safety and liability issues, and reduce operating costs.

NRCan is providing $700,000 for the infrastructure and $40,000/year for five years for the lease of the labs. Additional funding was provided by the ALBERTA RESEARCH COUNCIL, the CANADIAN FOUNDATION FOR INNOVATION, and the ALBERTA SCIENCE AND RESEARCH AUTHORITY. Industry support has come from ALBIAN SANDS ENERGY, CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES, SUNCOR, SYNCRUDE and TRUE NORTH ENERGY.

Anyone wishing to pursue an engineering degree in Alberta should visit

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