October 10, 2012
Planning starts for mine expansion
Canadian Oil Sands (COS) Limited, which is the owner of Syncrude Canada, is in the early stages of planning the construction of a mine extension project at its Mildred Lake facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta.
“The prioritization of the MLX (Mildred Lake Extension) Project at this stage reflects our expectation that it will provide very attractive economic returns by extending the useful life of the mine trains that we are building today into the 2030s and, importantly, will provide an opportunity to minimize new land disturbance through the utilization of existing environmental and operating infrastructure,” said Marcel Coutu, president and chief executive officer of COS.
Syncrude launched the regulatory process for the Mildred Lake Extension Project on Oct. 1.
The process started when the company released a disclosure document, which signals the company’s intention to engage the public in discussions about project plans and details.
As part of the process, Syncrude will conduct stakeholder consultations early in the development timeline for two proposed mining areas near the Mildred Lake facility, which is located 40 kilometres north of Fort McMurray.
The proposed project will provide a replacement supply of bitumen for upgrading, when the existing mine exhausts the current oilsands deposit.
The two new mining areas are adjacent to the established mine at Mildred Lake and will use existing ore crushing and extraction facilities.
The initial project scoping for the mine extension is underway and Syncrude anticipates filing a formal regulatory submission in 2014.
Construction is expected to start within the next 10 years, pending regulatory and final joint venture owner approvals.
The Syncrude Project is a joint venture by Canadian Oil Sands Limited (36.74 per cent), Imperial Oil Resources (25 per cent), Mocal Energy Limited (5 per cent), Murphy Oil Company Ltd. (5 per cent), Nexen Oil Sands Partnership (7.25 per cent), Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership (9.03 per cent) and Suncor Energy Oil and Gas Partnership (12 per cent).
Syncrude is the operator of the Mildred Lake facility. The joint venture owns the mining, extraction, upgrading and administrative facilities located at Mildred Lake. It also owns the extraction, co-generation and administrative facilities at the Aurora mine about 35 kilometres northeast of the Mildred Lake Plant.
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