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In-Pit Extraction Process

Strategic Area

Energy - Technology and Innovation
GHG and air emissions




Emissions Reduction Alberta


Clean Growth Program



CGP Contribution

$ 8 M

Project Total

$ 65,173,782


Wood Buffalo, AB

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Horizon Oil Sands

Lead Proponent

Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural)

Project Objectives

The In-Pit Extraction Process (IPEP) is an alternate bitumen extraction process that separates oil sands ore into coarse solids, fine solids, bitumen and water. The process takes place at the oil sands mine (in-pit) requiring fewer diesel haul trucks, auxiliary equipment, and thus reducing power needs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The bitumen and water are transported to extraction for further processing, while the remaining solids are recombined into stackable tailings.

The project will be demonstrated at Canadian Natural’s Horizon oil sands mine in Alberta.

Expected Results

This project has the potential to significantly reduce tailings generation and enable faster remediation through a progressive mining and reclamation strategy.

The process has the ability to be retrofitted to current mining operations. Canadian Natural has committed to make this technology available to oil sands mining companies through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) for more rapid industry-wide adoption.

Anticipated Environmental Benefit(s):

Reduces GHG emissions by up to 40% by decreasing the number of diesel powered haul trucks; reduces reclamation timelines, and reduces water usage.

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