SilverBirch seeks regulatory approval for Frontier bitumen mine

By OGJ editors

SilverBirch Energy Corp. announced the filing of a regulatory application and environmental impact assessment for the Frontier bitumen mine, including Equinox, for producing about 277,000 b/d of partially deasphalted bitumen.

The mine is 110 km north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

The application was submitted to Alberta Environment, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

SilverBirch expects a production start in 2020-21 and recovery of 2.8 billion bbl of bitumen over the project's life.

The company said corporate sanctioning of the project could occur as early as 2014-15 with construction commencing in 2016.

SilverBirch said it is under no obligation to provide major project funding at this time and will not proceed with construction until a partnership agreement and funding solutions are in place.

Teck Resources Ltd. with a 50% interest is the operator of the project with SilverBirch holding the remaining 50%.

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