Image: Pierina Gold Mine: Innovative solutions to heap leaching

Minerals & Metals1 min read

Pierina Gold Mine: Innovative solutions to heap leaching

Huaraz, Perú
1998 - present

The Pierina gold mine is located in the Callejón de Huaylas in the Peruvian Andes, approximately 10 kilometres directly north of Huaraz, Perú at an elevation of 4,100 metres. Surface mining began in 1998 with the ore processed by valley fill heap leaching.

Ausenco has been working on the project for over a decade, providing Barrick with innovative design solutions for the leach pad and best in class construction monitoring support services in a very challenging environment.

We partnered with Barrick to help meet their goals of sustainable economic development and protecting the environment. During this time we developed some industry firsts including: placement of the leach pad liner system on near vertical slopes; high head internal leach pad pregnant solution pond with vertical caisson pumping system; leach pad raincoat and surface water management system providing increase stream flow below the project, and one of the first compartmentalised valley fill heap leach leak detection system.

Ausenco’s scope of services included:

  • Heap leach pad design for seven phases
  • Resident engineering and construction quality assurance for 1.3 million square metres
  • Feasibility studies
  • Geotechnical and geological engineering
  • Saturated and unsaturated flow models
  • Conventional and static liquefaction studies
  • Geotechnical monitoring of all civil facilities
  • Annual safety inspection of dams
  • Closure plans
  • Water modelling including water balance and water surplus management.