Research project to capture valuable minerals from oil sands tailings and reduce emissions intensity

    EDMONTON, March 28 /CNW/ - An abundance of manufactured products
including ceramic tiles and kitchenware, consumer electronics, medical
appliances and paints may in the future include minerals extracted from oil
sands tailings thanks to a $3.5-million grant from Alberta Energy to
Titanium Corporation Inc. The company will research the value-added
opportunities and environmental benefits of stripping out hydrocarbons and
heavy minerals from oil sands tailings streams. Funding for this two-year
project is being provided through Alberta's Energy Innovation Fund.
    "The ingenuity of our energy industry continues to offer significant
benefits for current and future generations of Albertans," said
Energy Minister Mel Knight. "Not only can this research result in processing
industrial waste into beneficial products, but it has the potential to
significantly reduce emissions and improve the environment by extracting
bitumen from tailings rather than from mining."
    Titanium Corporation is a Canadian company developing a commercial
process to maximize the value existing in waste material presently being
deposited in Alberta's oil sands tailings. Rather than channeling mine froth
tailings into disposal areas, the mineral-rich stream is sent to a separation
plant via pipeline where bitumen, titanium minerals, zircon and naphtha are to
be recovered for commercial use.
    "I am very pleased that the Government of Alberta has agreed to provide
such significant support for this project," said Scott Nelson, President and
CEO of Titanium Corporation. "Development of new technology that will
reprocess an otherwise discounted waste product will add value to the bitumen
resource and provide a number of environmental benefits such as reduced carbon
dioxide emissions and smaller disposal areas."
    More than 90 per cent of the world's titanium minerals are sold to the
pigment industry, which manufactures products for the paint, coating, paper
and plastics industries. Another important use of titanium is in making
alloys. Zircon sand is in high demand worldwide and is used by the ceramic,
refractory and chemical industries. Naphtha, a liquid hydrocarbon, may also be
recovered through the research project and reused for processing bitumen prior
to upgrading.
    The $200-million Energy Innovation Fund is a cross-ministry initiative
that supports Alberta's Integrated Energy Vision to build on world-class
knowledge, expertise and leadership and responsibly develop our vast energy
resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

For further information:

For further information: Media enquiries may be directed to: Tim Markle,
Alberta Energy Communications, (780) 427-0479, To call toll-free within
Alberta dial 310-0000; Carolyn Muir, Titanium Corporation Inc., (416)

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