Canadian Oil Sands sanctions Mildred Lake extension project
The $4.2 billion project is expected to extend the life of the oil sands mine by a decade
Tack on another 10 years of digging and scraping at Syncrude Canada Ltd.’s Mildred Lake oil sands mine.
Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. – which owns the biggest portion of the mine that Syncrude operates for a consortium of companies – announced today that it is going ahead with an extension project for Mildred Lake.
The project will replace two “mine trains” at Mildred Lake. A mine train is the industry term given to a process that crushes and mixes the oil sands with warm water to separate the bitumen from the oil sands.
In a press release announcing the decision, Canadian Oil Sands says the extension, dubbed the MLX Project, will keep the mine open an extra 10 years.
“The prioritization of the MLX Project at this stage reflects our expectation that it will provide very attractive economic returns by extending the useful life of the mine trains that we are building today into the 2030s,” Canadian Oil Sands president and CEO Marcel Coutu said in the press release.
The company didn’t say how much the project would cost.
But in announcing its second quarter financial results in a July press release, the company estimated the project would cost $4.2 billion to build, with Canadian Oil Sands chipping in $1.6 billion.
In that Q2 press release, the company also said the project would be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014.
However, the Calgary-based firm wasn’t as specific today and said pending regulatory approval, construction and spending on the MLX project would “commence in the next 10 years.”
The Mildred Lake is one of two massive sites – the other is the Aurora mine – operated by Syncrude north of Fort McMurray.