Mining and Environmental reclamation

Alberta, Canada Suncor Oil sands, Mining and Environmental reclamation

Members of BLP were involved with the project teams responsible for delivering environmental remediation services for the Suncor firebag and Voyager South projects.

Firebag project is 65 km northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta and about 40 km northeast of the Suncor Oil Sands Base Plant operations. A borrow pit was developed to hold infill materials excavated from the construction of the Firebag central Processing Facility and ancillary access roads. Borrow pits are pits dug to contain fill material such as gravel or soil, for construction projects.

Large heavy-duty machines including bulldozers, excavators, haul trucks, articulating dump trucks, compaction rollers, motor graders, telehandlers, boom lifts, scissor lifts and generators were used to build the facility, equipment staging areas and access roads.

Suncor developed a reclamation plan for Borrow Pit 6 in the winter of 2013, with the help of engineers, soil scientists, biophysical reclamation specialists and environmental scientists were deployed in the reclamation design. The team worked to solve the challenge of reclaiming Borrow Pits among peatlands, a difficult and complex process. Reclamation of the site involved replacing salvaged soils on the pit slope. The Athabasca Oil Sands is mostly a wetlands terrain and peatlands comprised of thick, saturated, organic layers. To construct facilities in this type of terrain requires large amounts of fill material extracted from borrow pits scattered throughout each Project area.