Alberta Environment has issued the final Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") for each of UTS Energy Corporation's Frontier and Equinox Oil Sands Mine Projects. The next step in the regulatory process is the completion of the EIA report for submission to Alberta Environment for review and approval.
Following the release of the public disclosure document in March 2008, UTS and its partner Teck Cominco Limited ("Teck") have been working closely with the communities of Fort Chipewyan and Fort McKay to develop thorough and comprehensive content for the mine applications.
"We are pleased to have reached this important milestone on these projects," said William Roach, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have made considerable progress on the Equinox and Frontier Projects since we first explored and delineated these properties just a few years ago. Thanks to the constructive input we had from the communities of Fort Chipewyan and Fort McKay, we have now completed this step. We will continue to work alongside our partner and the local communities as we go forward to design the projects so
Lisa Schaldemose, Executive Director of Fort McKay Industry Relations Corporation said, "We're happy with the process that we have with UTS and Teck. We are pleased that our input has been incorporated and we are looking forward to working with them as they take their projects through to the next phase."
The proposed Equinox Project consists of a mining and bitumen extraction and processing facility on the UTS/Teck jointly owned Lease 14. The Equinox Project may be developed as either a 50,000 barrel per day stand-alone project or a satellite bitumen froth production operation to the Frontier Mine. The Equinox Project is located on the west side of the Athabasca River directly across from the Fort Hills Project and 10 kilometres to the south of the Frontier Project in Township 98, Ranges 10 and 11 W4M.
The proposed Frontier Project consists of a mining and bitumen extraction and processing facility to be developed in phases. Current plans are for Phase 1 of the Frontier Project to be located on the UTS/Teck jointly owned Leases 311, 468, 470, 477 and 610 on the west side of the Athabasca River in Townships 100 and 101 Range 11 W4M. The proposed mining area of the Frontier Project is 10 to 20 kilometres northwest of the Fort Hills Project and is bordered to the south and east by Shell Canada Limited's proposed Pierre River project. Initial production rate of the Frontier Project is expected to be in the range of 100,000 to 160,000 barrels per day. Additional mining operations for expansion of the initial phase are being considered on Leases 513, 514 and 840 and are dependent on the results of further exploration.
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