Reducing Risks at Syncrude Canada Ltd's Mining Operations Through the Application of Technology

Fair A, ; Oxenford J,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
Syncrude Canada Ltd operates one of the largest open pit mines in the world at Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada. In 1993, Syncrude mined and processed 131.2 Mt of oil sands to produce 67.0 MBbls of synthetic crude oil (SCO). This represents approximately 13 per cent of Canada's crude oil requirements. In addition to the oil sand mined, Syncrude moved approximately 96 Mt of overburden ahead of the mining operation in 1993. Since start-up in 1978, Syncrude has had outstanding success in improving the safety and reliability of its operation. Much of this success has been achieved by reducing risk through the application of new and improved technology. This improved safety and reliability has resulted in, among other things, very significant improvements in operating costs and profitability. This paper discusses some of the technology applications that have been introduced at Syncrude to reduce risks to people, equipment, operations and the environment. Three specific examples will be discussed in detail to demonstrate how reductions in risk have greatly improved the operation.
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