Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

An update to the construction of the Suncor oil sands tailings Pond 5 cover Abusaid, Ayman; Fear, Catherine; McRoberts, Ed; Wells, Sean


To facilitate reclamation of its Pond 5 oil sands tailings pond, Suncor began construction of a full scale floating cover over the fluid tailings in the pond in January, 2010. The cover is comprised of geosynthetics overlain by petroleum coke and will function as a first step towards achieving a trafficable surface that would allow for further reclamation activities ultimately leading to the closure of the pond. A paper discussing the design of the cover and the initial construction in the winter of 2010 has been published previously. A series of field trials were conducted on the cover in the summer and fall of 2010, and the results of the field trials in addition to data and observations collected during the 2010 winter construction were used to enhance the construction methodology and improve productivity including the use of different and larger construction equipment. This paper discusses and presents these and other novel aspects of constructing a large scale floating cover on a fluid oil sand tailings pond.[All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]

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