Suncor Tailings Impoundment

Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

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Years of Service

2008 to the present

Project Description

RGC has assisted Suncor Energy since 2008 to design and construct the Phase I and Phase II coke caps at the Pond 5 tailings impoundment. Cap construction included placing geotextiles and geogrid over frozen tailngs, and then placing up to three meters of coke over the geogrids. Because the coke is lighter than the tailings, the coke cap, in essence, floats on the tailings.

Because of the success of the coke cap construction trials in 2008 and early 2009 and the demonstrated abilty of the cap to carry heavy equipment (60 ton Moxies) over the very soft tailngs, Suncor has decided to undertake a two-year project to place a coke cap over the entire pond. This coke cap will be the foundation of a soil and vegetative cover to be placed as part of pond closure and reclamation.

Wick drains fields have been installed in the tailings as part of onging evaluation of the performance of wick drains and their ability to dewater the tailings to criteria established by the Alberta regulators.

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