US Oil Sands has developed a patented technology that is able to process mineable oil sands with a much smaller environmental footprint than is possible with other oil sands processing techniques. We employ an innovative, yet simple modification to the traditional process by using a naturally occurring citrus derivative as a solvent to separate oil from sand. The solvent is biodegradable and non-toxic, and is extremely effective at oil separation. The process avoids the oily liquid tailings that other traditional oil sands mining projects generate and deposit into tailings ponds.
US Oil Sands designed the extraction process to maximize recovery of water and to recycle as much as 95% of the process water. By recycling the water, the Company minimizes the amount of heating required and captures and reuses waste heat to minimize heating requirements for make-up water. In turn, this reduces the greenhouse gases generated by the facility, and the energy balance for the process is among the best in class for bitumen production projects. Elimination of tailings ponds and immediate replacement of clean dry tailings enables concurrent reclamation of depleted mine areas, greatly reducing the mine footprint of US Oil Sands' operations compared to existing projects. The Company's high recovery of bitumen from the oil sands means that less ore must be mined for each barrel of production, maximizing the potential of the State's resource. The bitumen extraction process developed by US Oil Sands is best in class in terms of environmental impacts from operations.