Can tailings be cleaned?

While there is still work to be done before the oilsands industry can use plants to remove the water from tailings, there’s still a lot of potential. The earlier story said the volume of fluid tailings could bury Alberta, instead of the city of Edmonton.

How do I get rid of pond tailing?

The technology, called in-pit mining extraction, uses a multi-level mobile platform that separates bitumen from sand. The approach would eliminate the need for tailings ponds—allowing the land to be reclaimed immediately instead of years later.

Are tailing ponds toxic?

There are several environmental concerns that are associated with the existence of tailings ponds. The main problem with the ponds is that they include toxic and harmful chemicals such as ammonia, mercury, and naphthenic acids. The water containing these chemicals is toxic to animals, particularly aquatic organisms.

What chemicals are in tailing ponds?

TAILINGS PONDS CONTAIN: These are: arsenic, benzene, lead, mercury, and air pollution.

Are tailings toxic?

Tailings aren’t “toxic.” They are a natural byproduct to be kept in a lined facility and returned to the pit at closure. All pyritic tailings will be backhauled to the pit for permanent underwater storage. They will present no failure risk and offer no threat to downstream habitat.

How many tailing ponds are in Alberta?

19 tailings ponds
They are known as Athabasca Oil Sands, Cold Lake oil sands, and Peace River oil sands. The Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) has 19 tailings ponds.

How are tailing ponds monitored?

All tailings ponds are constructed with groundwater monitoring systems. If seepage is detected, government requires a recapture system to return the process affected water to the pond.

What is tar sands sludge?

Tar sands oil is a type of thick, impure, and sludge-like crude oil that must be diluted with other toxic chemicals for transport to refineries, where it’s processed into petroleum products. Tar sands spills are also much more difficult and 15 times as costly to clean up.

How is oil extracted from oil sands?

Currently, 20% of oil sands reserves are accessible via mining techniques. Large shovels scoop the oil sand into trucks which then move it to crushers where the large clumps of earth are processed. Once the oil sand is crushed, hot water is added so it can be pumped to the extraction plant.

What happens to tailing ponds?

Tailing ponds are areas of refused mining tailings where the waterborne refuse material is pumped into a pond to allow the sedimentation (meaning separation) of solids from the water. The pond is generally impounded with a dam, and known as tailings impoundments or tailings dams.

What are tar sands tailings ponds?

Oil sands mining operations produce a toxic brew of water, sand, silt and petrochemical waste products. For over fifty years, the tar sands industry in Alberta has stored these tailings in enormous lakes that the industry refers to as “tailings ponds.”

What is in Alberta’s tailings ponds?

The tailings ponds in Alberta’s oilsands are huge, spanning some 220 square kilometres total, nearly twice the size of Vancouver. So far, more than a trillion litres of tailings — a mixture of waste water, clay, sand and petrochemical residues — have been stored in them.

Will tar sands tailings continue to seep into Alberta’s freshwater system?

As a result, Alberta’s tar sands tailings ponds will continue to seep into the province’s fresh water system for the foreseeable future. NAFTA’s CEC has 120 working days from ECCC’s response to decide on next steps in the dispute.

What type of oil is found in the Alberta tar sands?

The Alberta Tar Sands, located in northern Canada, contain the largest deposits of bitumen oil in the world. The tar sands hold a mixture of sand, water, clay and bitumen (see Bitumen), a heavy oil that is coveted by many major companies.