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2023 Operator Tailings Management Reports Published

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has published the 2023 Annual Fluid Tailings Management Reports, submitted by oil sands operators. Under Directive 085: Fluid Tailings Management for Oil Sands Mining Projects (D085), part of the regulations that govern fluid tailings from oil sands mining, operators have an obligation to report annually on the performance of their fluid tailings management. These reports are submitted to the AER by April 30 and published by May 31 each year. The list of matters the reports must contain is comprehensive and, among other areas, covers approved new and legacy fluid tailings volumes, profiles, and thresholds. All requirements for these reports are outlined in section 6 of Directive 085.  

Previous years’ reports can be found in the Products and Services Catalogue under Tailings Management Reports for Oil Sands Mining Schemes

At this stage, the operators’ reports are published on the website without commentary or interpretation of the data they contain. Following the submission by the operators of their fluid tailings management reports, technical specialists at the AER conduct a comprehensive review of all submissions.  

The AER publishes an annual report on the state of fluid tailings management for mineable oil sands by October 30. This report summarizes the evaluation of operators’ performance reports, highlights regulatory actions taken, evaluates regional performance against the Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands outcomes and objectives and identifies operators that are performing well and those who need to make improvements.  

Last year’s AER report can be found here: State of Fluid Tailings Management for Mineable Oil Sands, 2022

Operators are required to hold annual forums with Indigenous communities and other stakeholders to enable discussion of tailings management. Details of these forums are included in the operators’ reports to the AER.  

In addition to reporting under D085, operators have reporting requirements for environmental monitoring, dam safety, and incidents.   

If you have questions arising from these reports, contact the specific operator directly.