Oil Sands and Oil Shale

One of Golder's fastest growing sectors is in the Oil Sands and Oil Shale industries.  Golder has extensive experience working with Canadian oil sands producers, as well as with developers and investors of Canadian and international oil sands and oil shale deposits. Golder’s experience and expertise covers traditional mining and tailings technology as well as the evaluation of New Technologies in mining and tailings.


Golder provides a wide range of services including:

  • Exploration and drilling support
  • Geological modeling
  • Resources and reserves estimation and reporting
  • Development and evaluation of mine plans
  • Design of waste impoundment structures
  • Bankable feasibility studies and audits
  • Risk analysis
  • Tailings management planning
  • Capital and operating cost estimation
  • Regulatory application support 


Major clients include:

  • Suncor Energy, Inc.
  • Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Total E&P Canada
  • Canadian Natural Resources, Ltd.
  • Shell Canada Ltd. - Albian Sands
  • Imperial Oil Ltd.
  • Jordan Energy and Mining Ltd.
  • TransAlta


Golder has the experience and expertise required to help our clients evaluate and develop their oil sands and oil shale deposits. Golder's procedures and attention to detail are unmatched in the industry.

Project Spotlight


Suncor Energy, Inc.

Ongoing Oil Sands Mining Operations

Challenge:  Suncor needed ongoing technical support for mine planning and the evaluation of alternatives to develop its oil sands deposits.

Solution:  Golder has provided mine engineering support to Suncor’s active mining operations on an ongoing basis for the past eight years.  Projects that have been successfully completed include preparation of stratigraphic and block models, estimation of reserves, development of mine expansion plans, design of dykes and waste dumps, development of short- and long-term mine plans and tailings plans, evaluation of in-pit placement of waste and tailings and evaluation of alternative mine plans and tailings technologies. 


Canadian Natural

Horizon Project

Challenge:  Canadian Natural was in the process of developing new surface mineable oil sands operations and required technical support.

Solution:  Golder developed detailed mine plans and production schedules for the project and conducted a costing analysis for the operations.  As well, Golder developed a comprehensive tailings model and plan from first principals.