Authors: Alberta Research Council
Iron-bearing minerals are known to occur in the McMurray Formation as large siderite nodules on the unconformity at the base of the McMurray Formation on top of the Waterways limestone and as siderite-cemented siltstones in the upper part of the McMurray Formation and in the Lower Clearwater Formation.
The amounts of siderite and pyrite present in the oil sands area are small and would not normally be worked. However, these hard rocks and nodules are currently being mined and segregated by Great Canadian Oil Sands Limited, and large amounts will be mined in the Syncrude operation. It would seem desirable, therefore, to make a study of the distribution of the iron-bearing minerals in the McMurray Formation to assess its economic potential.