Tailings Environmental Priority Area Update

Dynamic Flocculation

Shell explores the use of dynamic mixers to treat fluid fine tailings in order to improve the performance of tailings reduction technologies.

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Jonathan Matthews

Jonathan Matthews
Director, Tailings EPA

The Tailings EPA has had a very collaborative few months! The members have been involved in a number of internal and external engagements aimed at sharing knowledge, technology and ideas with each other and our stakeholders.

The biggest one was, of course, COSIA’s first Innovation Summit, which took place March 31 to April 2. This was the first time that industry has shared the work it’s doing to improve environmental performance at such a large scale. It was a great turnout and really showed the commitment of our members and stakeholders to achieving COSIA’s vision. It was a great opportunity to get feedback and insight from the innovation community and I’m looking forward to seeing us get bigger and braver at sharing our work at future events.

The COSIA/PTAC Clay Conference & Workshop was also held in April at the University of Alberta. The response I received from attendees was very positive; they found the presentations engaging and provided attendees with valuable insights into clay that can be used to improve our understanding of current tailings reduction technologies.

Also in April we held a two-day technology review of all of the Tailings EPA’s Joint Industry Projects and EPA-led studies. The review consisted of an overview of the work and progress being made on each project and was followed by dialogue and idea exchange with the other members. To me, this is the purest form of collaboration – sharing hot-off-the-press information within the confines of COSIA and looking for ways to improve upon the insights gained.

Coming up this spring we will be updating the Tailings EPA multi-year plan based on the two day strategic review we conducted in January, as well as insights gained from recent technical engagements, and input from the Shareholder Steering Committee. We’ll be reviewing and updating our multi-year plan and I’ll fill you in on the details in the next issue of Collaborator.