Reclamation in Alberta: oil sands and coal mines
The Government of Alberta is moving forward with a number of enhanced reclamation initiatives to improve clarity, security, and environmental performance within the oil sands and coal mining sectors.
New reclamation initiatives include a strengthened mine financial security program, enhanced reclamation reporting, an aggressive strategy to manage existing tailings ponds and encourage quicker reclamation, and an online Oil Sands Information Portal.
- applies to both oil sands and coal mines
- uses an asset-to-liability approach that recognizes the value of a resource in terms of cash flow
- full financial security is required when risks are highest - towards the end of a mine's life
- over the long-term, total security will be higher than under previous approach
- all oil sands mines will now provide security based on full reclamation costs and not on older, grandfathered rates
- includes security for plant sites of mines (upgraders)
- government can require operators to post full security at any time
- number of reporting milestones have been increased from three (disturbed, reclaimed, certified) to eight to better reflect the different phases of reclamation work
Oil Sands Information Portal:
- ensures oil sands facts - including information on reclamation - are accessible, easy to understand and up-to-date.
Reclamation Certificate Program:
- enhancements will provide better information about reclamation work and achievements
- result will be consistent reporting requirements for industry and a more complete picture of reclamation performance
Learn more about reclamation in Alberta's oil sands region