Image: Pascua Lama: High altitude tailing storage facility design

Industrial & Infrastructure1 min read

Pascua Lama: High altitude tailing storage facility design

Chile - Argentina Border
Gold; Precious Metals

The Pascua Lama gold-silver mine is located on the Argentinean and Chilean border.

For this project Ausenco has addressed many challenges including environmental issues and health and safety concerns working at a high altitude and in a cold climate.

The design for the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF), for example, includes provisions for Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) control and minimal disturbance to the local hydrological setting. By necessity, the TSF liner design includes underdrain collection, composite liner, and granular drainage overliner with collection pipes.

There is a provision for a 102m high TSF embankments that incorporates and optimises the use of local waste rock from the adjacent Veladero mine site, rather than disturbing pristine areas for borrow materials. The plan provides significant cost savings, as well as considerable environmental safeguards.

Ausenco’s scope of services include:

  • ESIA including linear constraints analysis
  • Review of ARD study and cost estimates for waste dump
  • Review of waste rock facility hydrology and diversion works design
  • Constructability review of tailings embankment design and asphalt core concept
  • Feasibility and detailed design of tailings dam and impoundment with 102m high main dam for the TSF and a 30m high dam for water supply
  • Detailed design and permitting package for tailings facility
  • Complete site hydrology, surface water diversion and detention system design
  • Design reports for government agencies, technical specifications and complete design drawing package