Oil sands reclamation: A study integrating mining, tailings disposal and reclamation. Volume III – Yearly cost estimates

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  • The document provides a comprehensive review of the technical problems facing future oil sands developments and suggests options which will be helpful in formulating oil sands mining, tailings disposal and reclamation plans. By providing in-depth cost analysis for many of the activities occurring in an oil sands mining operation, the sensitivity of these activities with respect to reclamation and overall project economics can be assessed. The impact of actions taken to reduce undesirable environmental effects can be measured both biophysically and economically. However, the determination of \"added benefit\" and \"associated cost\" is more complex, with many subjective elements. This study attempts to define not only the methods required to achieve various degrees of reclamation in the Athabasca oil sands, but also to show how the benefits and costs of such reclamation can be objectively measured. Volume III of the report contains yearly cost summaries for the 12 mine plans analyzed in the study. The activities in each mine are grouped into 6 cost centres, which are further divided into cost sub-centres. The division into sub-centres is required to allow as accurate costing as possible and is not intended to break the costs into sub-centres of similar value. The operating and capital costs for 35 years are shown, including five years of preproduction activities and five years of deactivation. The present value cost analysis gives the sum of yearly operating and capital costs discounted at a rate of 10% each year between the date of occurrence and the beginning of the project.

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