Titanium Corporation's mission is to develop and build a commercial process that will maximize the inherent value existing in the waste material currently being deposited in mined oil sands tailings. The project has progressed to developing new technology that would integrate the recovery of minerals and bitumen from fresh oil sands tailings.
Initially working with deposited, dry oil sands tailings, Titanium Corporation commissioned a mineral research and processing facility at the Saskatchewan Research Council in Regina, Saskatchewan in 2004 for flow sheet development test work. Encouraging results were achieved and the Company moved ahead developing technology to process fresh tailings directly from the oil sands tailings pipeline.
In 2005, Titanium Corporation commissioned and operated a bulk sampling plant that was connected to the fresh oil sands tailings pipeline on-site in Fort McMurray. The bulk sampling plant produced washed sands containing heavy minerals, some of which were further processed at the Company's Regina facility.
Titanium Corporation has assessed the mineral content in both deposited tailings and fresh pipeline tailings. This included analysis of fresh tailings on a daily basis which identified a relatively constant proportion of zircon and higher levels of associated hydrocarbons (i.e. bitumen) compared with the material in the deposited tailings. These findings necessitated changes to the process flow sheet design which were then tested by the operation of an on-site modular pilot mineral concentration facility ("2006 Pilot Program") during September-October 2006.
The 2006 Pilot Program was constructed in Australia and shipped to Fort McMurray for commissioning during the summer of 2006. It was built on time and on budget and was designed to remove bitumen from the heavy minerals and concentrate the minerals. The 2006 Pilot Program achieved high recoveries of a heavy mineral concentrate (98-99%); however traces of bitumen remained on the heavy minerals. Analysis has shown the removal and recovery of bitumen is necessary to effectively recover the heavy minerals. In 2007, Titanium Corporation initiated a bitumen R&D project to remove bitumen from the heavy minerals and recover bitumen from the tailings stream.
During 2008 and 2009, the Company successfully executed over 20 research projects with 12 independent research organizations. The program, 50% funded by a $3.5 million grant from the Alberta Government , developed new technologies to recover bitumen and solvent from froth treatment tailings and produce a cleaned heavy mineral concentrate.
In 2010, following the successful R&D program, the Company executed a 12 month demonstration pilot for 3 oil sands operators. The $15 million pilot was funded in part by a $5 million Grant from the Canadian Government's Sustainable Technology Canada agency (SDTC). The pilot program, engineered by SNC-Lavalin was highly successful recovering 75% bitumen and solvent as well as cleaned heavy mineral concentrate. Equally importrant, these recoveries deliver significant environmental benefit by reducing emissions of VOC's, CO2 and NOX, recycling water and thickening tailings
For more information please refer to Titanium Corporation's latest MD & A found under the 'Financial Statements' section of the menu item 'Investors' on our website.