Syncrude Lease 17 (Mildred Lake)

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  • Syncrude Canada Limited and the Government of the Province of Alberta are currently negotiating the practicability of proceeding with a synthetic crude oil production project. During the course of analyzing the practicability of the project, the need for an environmental impact assessment was clearly revealed. Three major time frames - during the planning stage, during construction, and during the commercial operation of the plant - have been accepted as appropriate for reporting environmental impact assessments. This Environmental Impact Assessment has therefore been prepared by Syncrude Canada Limited, for submission to the Department of the Environment prior to the start of construction of its project. The proposed Syncrude commercial operation will be carried out on Lease 17, which lies 20 miles north of the town of Fort McMurray and borders on Lease 86, the site of the only existing tar sands operation. Lease 17 covers 49,788 acres and contains potentially mineable bitumen reserves of approximately 3.5 billion barrels. For mine planning, Lease 17 has been divided into several areas. The site of the initial operation hereafter will be referred to as the initial mining area. It contains enough reserves to feed the proposed plant for approximately 14 years at its approved rate of 80,000 BPD of synthetic products. When the other reserves indicated in Figure 1 are included, the life of this portion of the deposit is about 70 years.

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