Authors: Houlihan, RH; Hale, CE


Cite As:
Houlihan, RH & Hale, CE 2011, 'Alberta mine reclamation and abandonment requirements', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & A Beersing (eds), Mine Closure 2011: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 13-20,

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Under the umbrella of the Energy Resources Conservation Act, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) regulates mine developments by adhering to the Oil Sands and Coal Conservation Acts and associated regulations. Oil sands and coal legislation assist the Government of Alberta in controlling pollution and ensure that both orderly and efficient development and safe and efficient mining practicesoccur and reflect the public interest. The legislation requires operators to submit applications to commence, suspend, or abandon mining sites, mining operations, and related processing plants; application requirements include conceptual reclamation plans. The ERCB works closely with Alberta Environment (AENV) and Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) in reviewing coal and oil sands mining applications, the operation of approved mines, and the reclamation and abandonment of mines. This paper reviews ERCB processes for mine regulation, Board decisions relating to reclamation and abandonment, and new regulations for tailings at oil sands mining operations. These regulations require fluid tailings accumulations to be reduced and formed into trafficable deposits that are ready for reclamation within five years of deposits being closed.

Houlihan, R. and Mian, H. (2008) Past, Present, Future Tailings Regulatory Perspective. First International Oil Sands Tailings Conference, Edmonton, Canada, December 2008.
Houlihan, R.H., Mian, M.H. and Lord, E.R. (2010) Oil sands tailings - technology developments and regulations. Proceedings 13th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings (Paste2010), R.J. Jewell and A.B. Fourie (eds), 3–6 May 2010, Toronto, Canada, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp423–435.

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