Effective Tailings Management Systems Require Customization

By Scott Elfen, VP & Global Practice Lead, Earth Sciences

Effective Tailings Management Systems Require Customization

There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for the companies owning and managing tailings facilities, as their projects may have different geographical, geotechnical, environmental and physical characteristics and, therefore, require a unique customized approach.

To address the most challenging needs of our clients, Ausenco designs customized comprehensive tailings management systems that include tailings storage facilities in mild to extreme climates, at high elevations, in active seismic regions, and in some of the most remote mine locations around the world.

Our geotechnical, hydrological, hydrogeological, environmental scientists and slurry process engineers develop and offer innovative, cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions. These solutions include: long-term optimization with closure in mind, full site and tailings disposal assessment, and the development of solutions for de-risking tailings disposal along with best in practice measures to reduce environmental impact. All this is done while focusing on increased efficiency of tailings control and management.

Having designed more than 100 tailings dams across the globe, we engage our extensive expertise to develop customized tailings management solutions and offer a full range of services and project management solutions in the most challenging area of tailings management from unthickened, thickened, paste and dry stack tailings management to deep sea tailings placement (DSTP).

We successfully applied our tailings knowledge and expertise while finalizing the design of the Feasibility Study for the La Guitarra Project in Mexico. This study included the planned construction for a dry stack tailings facility (DSTF) and its associated downhill operationand storm collection ponds, as well as the water supply pond for plant use. 

Given the customer’s specific needs and characteristics of the project, our experts suggested the DSTF be constructed in phases over a 7 year period within a lined tailings impoundment to protect the environment. We designed the startup facility to store the first year of tailings production to minimize the capital costs and offered a progressive phased stacking program to the ultimate 7-year storage capacity with extension of the liner system, underdrains, and overdrains to contain design storm runoff and infiltration seepage flows within the collection pond system.

Ask us how we can help you address your tailings management needs. #AskAusencoHow

For more information on our Tailings Services, click here.

Photo: Dry stack facility at Cerro Lindo, Peru