Suncor Mature Fine Tailings Project

KMC Mining was awarded the excavation, hauling and placement of Mature Fine Tailings (MFT) for the winter programs in 2013, 2015 and 2016. The annual scopes of work included removal of containment berms, freezing in roadways, windrowing and stacking material to assist in freezing, excavation of cells and hauling of material to waste dumps, and subsequent replacement of cell liners and berms.

KMC successfully used a combination of small excavators to windrow material from frozen pads in conjunction with the use of large hydraulic shovels working from a competent floor. Haul trucks were equipped with box extensions, side boards and tail gates to maximinze load factors and to minimize spillage on haulroads. KMC also re-established cell liners and containment berms for future tailings storage.

KMC trialed a vegetable oil based additive to reduce the freezing of the MFT material in the truck boxes and to minimize carry-back volumes.

The MFT material varied in water content from 25% to 60%, by weight.
This project included several important successes, including:

  • Excavation of 3.3 M BCM in 2013 and 4.3 M BCM in 2015.
  • Increasing average truck factor from 100 BCM to 140 BCM for 250T trucks.
  • Working over 12 months without a Lost Time Injury.

Project Details

Location: Fort McMurray, Alberta

Service: Pre-Development; Mine Development

Completion Date: 2013 to 2016

Owner: Suncor Energy Inc.