Sustainable Heavy Minerals Production from Oil Sands Tailings
Froth treatment tailings from surface-mined oil sands operations contain valuable resources including heavy minerals, bitumen and solvent. Titanium Corporation has developed the Creating Value from WasteTM (CVW) process to recover these resources that are currently wasted. The CVW process has been developed over an extended period at various scales up to demonstration plants and is now “commercially ready”. The CVW Process provides an attractive business opportunity, creating a new Canadian minerals industry while at the same time recovering the lost bitumen and solvent and reducing the environmental footprint of the oil sands operations.
Titanium’s process resolves many technical challenges including bitumen removal and recovery, naphtha recovery, fine gangue minerals rejection and recovery of valuable heavy minerals that are much finer than “normal”. The CVW process uses common unit operations including flotation, solvent extraction, steam stripping and minerals wet/dry milling with necessary adaptations to enhance performance. The produced resources are of high quality and the recovered solvent and bitumen are compatible with products from “base plant’ operations. Significant environmental improvements are achievable through reduced solvent losses and reduced airborne emissions of VOC’s, particulates, methane and CO2(e),. Further, the technology has Directive 074 implications by improving settling characteristics of the oil-free tailings.