ALBERTA – SYNCRUDE CANADA of Fort McMurray, Alta., achieved an industry first when the Alberta government certified a parcel of reclaimed land north of Fort McMurray. Gateway Hill, a 104-hectare parcel, is one of the company’s most mature reclamation projects.
“Syncrude achieved this milestone thanks to the vision of employees who led this reclamation process from the beginning,” said president and CEO Tom Katinas. “It’s a testament of our long-term commitment to land reclamation and overall sustainability in the oil sands.”
After formation of the initial landscape was complete, the planting of the first trees and shrub seedlings began in 1983. It is now a healthy forest of broad leaf trees and conifers interspersed by several wetlands. Visitors can see the reclamation first hand by hiking the 4.5-km Matcheetawin trail that winds through the forest.
“Matcheetawin trail is a fitting name for where our reclamation efforts truly began,” said Katinas, referring to the Cree word meaning beginning place. “This continues to be a key part of our business where we are delivering on our promises. We reclaimed more than 80 additional hectares in 2007 and are focusing on about another 100 hectares this year.”
Syncrude has now reclaimed more than 4,500 hectares, representing the largest amount of any oil sands producer.
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