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CNRL seeks AER approval to integrate Horizon holdings

Last Updated Nov 20, 2019 at 5:41 pm MDT

PHOTO. Canadian Natural (CNRL) filed a notice of application to integrate Horizon South, formerly Joslyn north mine, with its Horizon site located 60 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. A photo of Joslyn north dated 2013. MYMCMURRAY/File photo.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL) would like to do some remodelling for its Horizon mine.

The oilsands company filed a Notice of Application with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) on Nov. 18, 2019.

CNRL seeks to integrate Horizon South, formerly the Joslyn North mine, with its Horizon oil sands mine and processing plant.

CNRL said integration would eliminate the need for the external tailings facility and end-pit lake.

Integrated Applications

The AER received several integrated applications from CNRL.

There are six applications, which cover the Oil Sands Conservation Act (OSCA), the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA), and the Water Act (WA).

To secure WA approval, CNRL must construct and operate water management facilities for the Horizon and Horizon South integrated site.

Next, a new license to divert 3.33-million cubic metres of surface runoff per year within the Ells and Tar River watersheds.

This license would also divert nearly 400,000 cubic metres of groundwater annually.

Furthermore, CNRL seeks to amend another WA license to remove the same diversion the AER previously approved for Joslyn north mine.

This would reduce the total water allocation by 4.4-million cubic metres per year.

The existing Horizon processing plant would process ore from Horizon South.

CNRL said Horizon South’s disturbance footprint and emissions will be less than what AER approved for Joslyn north mine.

Finally, CNRL filed for approval to build a new fence line for the integrated site.

Located 60 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, CNRL scheduled site preparation for Horizon South in November 2020.

Mining would also begin in July 2022.