PLANNING FOR CANADA’S FUTURE OIL SANDS PIT LAKES; AN OVERVIEW OF THE COSIA DEMONSTRATION PIT LAKES PROJECT
To improve our understanding of oil sands pit lake functions, a consortium of oil sands producers called Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is considering developing a state-of-the-art research facility with three to four demonstration pit lakes, a dozen experimental ponds, and a smaller mesocosm and microcosm facility. The proposed demonstration pit lakes will be approximately 200 m in diameter and 20 m deep, will be constructed using oil sands waste materials and process waters representing proposed closure strategies, and will be monitored regularly for at least a decade. The DPL Project will include funding for external researchers (both Canadian and international) to conduct publishable research on specific knowledge gaps. On a global scale, this will be one of the first research initiatives from the petroleum-, metals-, coal-, uranium-, diamond-, or aggregate-mining sectors to physically test pit lake predictions on this scale in advance of lake formation.
This presentation will review the content and status of the COSIA Demonstration Pit Lakes Project, and will highlight potential research opportunities.