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Development of an At-Line Active Clay Analyzer for the Canadian Mining Industry

Strategic Area

Mining - Technology and Innovation
Landscape disturbances and waste management




Suncor Energy Inc.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology


Clean Growth Program



CGP Contribution

$ 1,986,854

Project Total

$ 2,782,017


Saskatoon, SK
Edmonton & Calgary, AB

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Saskatchewan Research Council

Lead Proponent

Saskatchewan Research Council

Project Objectives

The objective of this project is to develop a near real-time at-line active clay analyzer capable of providing regular measurements of active clay content to assist field operators in optimizing fluid tailings treatment.

This project involves developing an automated active clay analyzer based on a standard laboratory Methylene Blue Index (MBI) method for clay content measurements.

A prototype analyzer will be developed and tested on industrial materials under controlled process conditions.

Expected Results

This project will develop instrumentation that will help mining operators reduce tailings deposit footprints and minimize land disturbance, resulting in a faster path to reclamation, and a smaller overall footprint of mining, including oil sands operations in Canada.

Anticipated Environment Benefits:  By monitoring and controlling production processes more effectively and rapidly, there will be savings in operating costs, energy, and a reduction of unnecessary by-products and wastes.

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