Research and Development in Tailings Management

Bringing Research and Development expertise to help solve the challenges.  Read More

Applied Process Innovation Centre

Providing a dedicated, fit-for-purpose facility for advanced tailings management research.  Read More

In-Place Electro Kinetic Treatment of Tailings

Shell explores a new technology that uses electric currents to dewater fluid fine tailings.  Read More

Dynamic Flocculation

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

Laminar Flow Research

Canadian Natural Resources Limited is working with the Saskatchewan Research Council on developing a reliable model for designing pipelines to transport thickened tailings in a laminar flow. Read More

Tailings Centrifugation

Shell is removing water from mature fine tailings by building on Syncrude’s contributed centrifuge technology. Read More


COSIA’s Tailings Environmental Priority Area (EPA) is focused on improving the management of oil sands tailings. Tailings are the sand, silt, clay and water found naturally in oil sands that remain following the mining and bitumen extraction process.

Working with universities, government and research institutes, other companies and partners, the Tailings EPA is bringing together the shared experience, expertise and financial commitment of oil sands mining companies to find new technologies and solutions to tailings.

The Tailings EPA has identified key issues facing the industry and is working to address the following:

  • the accumulation of fluid fine tailings (FFT) within tailings ponds through the development of new and improved tailings management technologies;
  • treatment of process affected water, the water which remains once the FFT are removed; and
  • accelerating the reclamation of the resulting tailings deposits so that they can be incorporated into the final reclaimed landscape.

COSIA and Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) recently released a Tailings Technology Roadmap and Action Plan Project, a collaboration that also involved Alberta Energy, Natural Resources Canada, Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development and the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board.  This plan provides a comprehensive review of technologies that will help industry identify a suite of actions that will accelerate the development of new and improved commercial tailings treatment technologies.

COSIA is the overarching collaborative hub within which companies set priorities, drive and share innovation and accelerate the pace of environmental performance improvements.

Examples of current projects include: