Alberta approves Mildred Lake extension
Extension of the Mildred Lakes bitumen mine by the Syncrude Ltd. joint venture has been conditionally approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator.
The addition of two mines will prolong Mildred Lake production by about 14 years after depletion of the existing Mildred Lake North mine. Mildred Lake, about 40 km north of Fort McMurray, can produce about 100 million tonnes/year of bitumen.
The AER found construction, operation, and reclamation of the extension project to be in the public interest.
It withheld approval of new mineral surface leases pending receipt of an assessment about adequacy of consultations with aboriginal groups. And it required Syncrude to submit an updated tailings management plan by Jan. 31, 2023.
Syncrude estimates recoverable bitumen of the extension project at 738 million bbl.
Shovel-and-truck production is to begin from a new western area in 2024 and from an eastern mine in 2028.
The extension project will use the existing Mildred Lake upgrader, extraction facilities, mining equipment, processing plants, and tailings facilities.
The main construction will be of a bridge across the MacKay River.
Syncrude partners are Imperial Oil Resources Ltd., CNOOC Oil Sands Canada; Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership, and Suncor Energy Inc.