It takes nearly
two tonnes of processed oil sands to make one 159-litre barrel of crude oil. The
rate of oil recovery is highclose to 100 percent of the available oil can be taken
from the sand. However any sand with less than approximately 67 percent bitumen by
volume gets left unprocessed. Mining projects are conscious of the natural disruption caused by
mining, and the processed sand is returned to the area from which it was taken,
and the land reclaimed.
mining can take place, any trees and brush covering the area need to be cleared.
After obstructions above land have been taken care of, the overburden (topsoil,
muskeg, clay, sand and gravel) must be removed to gain access to the actual oil
sand deposit. The muskeg and topsoil are saved separately and replaced after the
mining to help reconstruct the site.
shovels collect the bitumen from their location and load it into large trucks
that transport it to the processing plants. The sand in the oil sands is very abrasive and regularly eats through the steel equipment
used to mine it.