Authors: Longo, S; Francoeur, R; Labelle, M; Wislesky, I


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Longo, S, Francoeur, R, Labelle, M & Wislesky, I 2011, 'Oil sands tailings dewatering — can it be done?', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Paste 2011: Proceedings of the 14th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 213-224,

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With the advent of Energy Resources Conservation Board of Alberta (ERCB) Directive 074, there has been increased pressure on oil sands operators to find practical, field proven solutions to deal with tailings management. While significant research and development has gone into understanding the characteristics of oil sands tailings materials and their subsequent behaviours in the field, there are still uncertainties. All operations will need to dewater their oil sands tailings in some manner to produce a material that will gain strength over time. There is great interest among oil sands companies to investigate and potentially apply different dewatering techniques for surface disposal of their waste materials. This paper presents the highlights of lab and field testing programs that have focused on thickening the multiple tailings streams that are produced by oil sands operators. Each tailings stream has its challenges and these will be discussed in the context of various dewatering methods that have been trialled. In addition, some focus will be put on how to employ these dewatering methodologies to compliment deposition strategies.

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A.B. Fourie (eds), 3–6 May 2010, Toronto, Canada, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 423–435.

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