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Suncor/Total mine gets OK

The newly formed oil-sands alliance of Suncor Energy and Total has gained environmental approval for its proposed 100,000 b/d Joslyn North mine in northern Alberta. The project could cost C$18bn ($18bn) and support production for 20 years, starting in 2017. Alberta and Canadian regulators said the project is in the public interest and poses “no significant” adverse impact on species at risk or water quality.

Total faced objections from an alliance of three environmental organisations, three aboriginal communities and a regional municipality. Jean-Michel Gires, head of Total’s Canadian operations, says the decision “affirms” his company’s commitment to “improving the environmental and social performance” of Canada’s oil sands. Final Alberta government approval is expected this year, allowing construction to start in the third quarter. The partners are Total 38.25%, Suncor 36.75%, Occidental Petroleum 15% and Inpex Canada 10%.

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