Oil Sands Mining Authorizations

 

Oil Sands Mining Authorizations

Oil sands mining-related applications submitted to the AER under the Oil Sands Conservation Act are divided into five application types:

  1. Mineable oil sands (MOS) new project / major expansion
  2. MOS pilot/experiment
  3. MOS category (cat) 1
  4. MOS cat 2
  5. MOS cat 3

MOS new project / major expansion applications are for new or major expansion projects that may have federal involvement, may affect resource conservation, may affect mineral rights owners, may result in an adverse and material change to the environment, may have socioeconomic impacts, or may directly and adversely affect stakeholders.

MOS pilot/experiment applications are for pilot or experimental projects.

MOS cat 1 applications are category 1 amendments that are not expected to adversely and materially affect resource conservation or alter environmental, socioeconomic, or stakeholder impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments.

MOS cat 2 applications are category 2 amendments that may affect resource conservation or involve significant modifications but that are not expected to affect rights of stakeholders or adversely and materially alter the environmental and socioeconomic impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments.

MOS cat 3 applications are category 3 amendments that may affect resource conservation, may affect other mineral rights owners, may result in an adverse and material change to environmental or socioeconomic impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments, or may directly and adversely affect stakeholders.

Further descriptions of MOS cat 1, 2, and 3 application types are outlined in section 10 of draft Directive 023: Oil Sands Project Applications.

Application Submission

Oil sands mining applications are submitted to the following inbox: OSMining.Applications@aer.ca

Applications are registered using the Integrated Application Registry (IAR) as nonconfidential and are assigned an application number. All documentation related to the application is saved in this system.

Review Process Summary for Oil Sands Mining Authorizations

After the application is received, a coordinator is assigned, the application is registered in the IAR, and a technical review is conducted. The review includes the following:

  • Following registration in the IAR, a public notice of application (PNoA) is posted on the AER website to enable public participation in the approval process.
  • Anyone who believes they may be directly and adversely affected by an energy resource application can file a statement of concern (SOC) to ARCTeam@aer.ca.
  • When appropriate, the coordinator sends internal referrals to AER subject matter experts to review the application.
  • Supplemental information may be requested of the applicant (i.e., supplemental information requests [SIRs]) if the information is required in order to complete the technical review.
  • A recommendation and decision is made.
  • When applicable, a joint review including staff from the AER's Environmental Protection & Enhancement Act, Water Act, and environmental impact assessment teams and/or the federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is conducted.
  • When applicable, a public hearing may take place before an AER decision is made on the application.