A process suitable for separating the hydrocarbon fraction from a tar sands froth is provided. The process comprises heating a fluid stream comprising the froth to above about 300.degree. C., pressurizing the stream to above about 1000 psig and separating the hydrocarbon fraction, having less than 1 percent solids and less than 5 percent water, from the treated stream. Separation is preferably by gravitational settling in a settler and occurs substantially instantaneously. The heat/pressure treatment can be optionally followed by addition of a diluent, such as naphtha. The pressure is preferably produced by the hydrostatic head of a column of froth.