Feb 22, 2020

Major tailings structure completed at Mount Isa

Major tailings structure completed at Mount Isa

An in-house team has completed construction of a 1.6km long, 15m tall tailings dam wall and spillway at Mount Isa Mines.

The company said the west wall project was the largest to date to be performed in-house and completed by the Bulk Product Logistics Team at Glencore.

The dam wall construction involved significant earthworks using around 400,000 cubic metres of material.

Mount Isa Mines superintendent tailing and projects Naren Ramachandran said the challenges included preparing the foundation, with five different geologies needing to be taken into account.

“We faced a scarcity of suitable construction materials available on site and needed to employ a complex construction methodology to satisfy the design requirements to ensure the integrity of the embankment,” he said in this month’s Glencore Resourceful newsletter.

“Trials in each geology began on site in 2017 and the results enabled us to set the strategy and methodology for grouting.”

Building the wall involved establishing a grout curtain, construction of a clay trench, sand filter blanket, rock fill and general fill to form the body of the wall and installation of a lining system.

Mr Ramachandran said this was the first tailings dam on the Mount Isa Mines site to be lined with a geosynthetic clay layer and high density polyethylene sheeting.

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