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Frontier Project

The Frontier project is a proposed oil sands mine in northeastern Alberta. Teck is committed to developing the Frontier Project responsibly by incorporating best practices for environmental protection, tailings management, water use, reclamation and management of greenhouse gases.

About Frontier

Frontier is a proposed truck-and-shovel oil sands mine located between Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan in northeast Alberta. The project is advancing through a joint federal-provincial regulatory review process.
 
Frontier will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities. Teck is committed to developing Frontier responsibly, incorporating best practices for environmental protection, tailings management, water use and managing greenhouse gases.

If approved, it is estimated that the Frontier project will directly employ up to 7,000 workers during construction and up to 2,500 workers during operation.

 

Frontier Project Information

We are committed to developing the Frontier Project responsibly, by incorporating best practices for environmental protection, tailings management, water use, reclamation and management of greenhouse gases.

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A Major Economic Driver

40+ Years

…of anticipated production and economic contributions

7,000 Jobs

…during peak construction

2,500 Jobs

...during ongoing operations

$70+ Billion

…in revenues to government to pay for services like healthcare and education

Frontier Mining Process

Frontier Facts

  • Wildlife
    Wildlife Mitigation, habitat, conservation… responsible development is at the heart of everything we do.
  • Consultation
    Consultation We are focused on building strong, long-term relationships based on respect, responsibility, and the creation of shared benefits.
  • Economics
    Economics The Frontier Project will generate billions of dollars in economic benefits throughout its 40+ year mine life.
  • Emissions
    Emissions We are committed to reducing GHG emissions by improving energy efficiency and implementing low-carbon technology.
  • Tailings
     Tailings New engineering and technology will ensure heightened safety and security in tailings storage, in line with the Alberta Government’s new Tailings Management Framework.
  • Water
    Water The Frontier Mine expects to use 90% recycled water and will be able to operate without water withdrawals for up to four months.
  • Reclamation
    Reclamation Progressive Reclamation: Restoring land at the same time as we mine.
  • Environmental Sustainability
    Environmental Sustainability Frontier will be among the most environmentally responsible oil sands developments ever built.

Regulatory Review Process Steps

Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel Process Steps

The Frontier Project has undergone extensive review by federal and provincial regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous communities, and is now being reviewed by a joint federal-provincial review panel.

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) oversees all stages of energy development in the province – this includes oil, oil sands, natural gas, and coal projects. From application and exploration, to construction and development, and onto retirement, reclamation, and remediation – the AER is the regulatory body that ensures safe, sustainable and beneficial development of energy throughout the province of Alberta. 

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)  is the federal agency responsible for environmental assessments. Project applicants work with the CEAA, through the environmental assessment process, to mitigate potential environmental impacts on land and to consult with Aboriginal groups. The oversight of CEAA guarantees Canadians that the same high-quality standards of protection and care will be applied to projects across the country, and that best practices are constantly being updated and implemented.

Frontier Project Filed Documents on the CEAA Registry

FAQs

We are committed to developing Frontier responsibly. The Frontier project has been designed from the outset to make use of best practices for sustainable development, including the use of the latest technology for tailings treatment, water management, GHG and emissions reduction, and progressive and full reclamation of the project site. 

Read more about our approach to key environmental priorities for the Frontier Project and learn more about Teck’s environmental efforts and track record. 

Frontier will employ 6,000-7,000 people during peak construction, and 2,500 people throughout operations, over an expected mine life of 41 years. Over the course of operations, the project will provide about $55 billion in revenue to the provincial government and $12 billion to the federal government, supporting public services like health care and education. 

Learn more about the economic benefits of the Frontier Project.  

Frontier will have one of the lowest water use intensities in the oil sands. 90 per cent of water used in processing will be recycled to minimize water withdrawals from the Athabasca River, and off-stream water storage will allow water withdrawals to be stopped during low river flow periods. Extensive safeguards will ensure regional water quality is not impacted.

Learn more about how local water will be protected

The Frontier Project is designed for best-in-class in environmental performance. The greenhouse gas emissions intensity of Frontier will be approximately one half of the oil sands industry average and will have a lower carbon intensity than about half of the oil currently refined in the United States. 

Cogeneration and energy efficient mining and processing are among the technologies and best practices that we will employ to help minimize emissions.

Read more about our efforts to reduce GHGs and improve air quality at the Frontier Project and across our entire company.

 

We will reclaim land as mining progresses, in order to return it to a productive state faster. As a result, and as mining advances over the years, the actual footprint of active mining will be much smaller than the total project area. 

To understand more about how this works, read more about our approach to progressive reclamation for the Frontier Project and check out Teck’s commitment to responsible mine closure and reclamation

We recognize that the Ronald Lake Bison Herd is very important to local Indigenous communities and all Albertans. 

We have undertaken the following steps in support of the Ronald Lake Bison Herd:

  • Teck has worked with Indigenous communities and government to actively study the herd and advance a provincial management plan
  • We support and actively participate in the Ronald Lake Bison Herd technical team – a multi-stakeholder team that directs study of the herd
  • We also helped advocate for the recent listing of the Ronald Lake Bison herd as a subject animal under the Wildlife Act, strengthening protection for the herd.
  • Teck is engaging with Indigenous communities and other partners to develop a mitigation and monitoring plan for Frontier that will address effects on the herd during operation.
  • In addition, once mining concludes we will reclaim the site to create an overall increase in high quality bison habitat.  

Learn more on the herd and our commitment to biodiversity.

 

We fully respect the significant ecological and cultural importance of Wood Buffalo National Park, which is why we are committed to advancing the Frontier project in a manner that is environmentally responsible and respectful of Indigenous communities.

Based on this commitment, we have conducted a comprehensive review specifically to assess any potential effect of our project on Wood Buffalo National Park and the Peace Athabasca Delta. This review identified no adverse cumulative environmental impacts on the Park and the Peace Athabasca Delta related to the Frontier project.

Learn more about our commitment to responsible resource development 

The International Energy Association is projecting a 32 per cent increase in global energy demand by 2040, with oil remaining a significant part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future. And price forecasts by respected independent authorities on global energy trends support a positive price environment for Frontier by the time it is currently planned to achieve production.

Related Videos


  • Fort Chipewyan Métis president Jumbo Fraser


  • Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair


  • Our commitment to responsible closure and reclamation


  • Our approach to responsible mine closure


  • Achieving a net-positive effect on biodiversity


  • Caribou Penning Program


  • Protecting Grizzly Bears

  • Fort Chipewyan Métis president Jumbo Fraser
  • Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair
  • Our commitment to responsible closure and reclamation
  • Our approach to responsible mine closure
  • Achieving a net-positive effect on biodiversity
  • Caribou Penning Program
  • Protecting Grizzly Bears
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Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with business units focused on copper, zinc, steelmaking coal and energy.