Morenci Mine Leach Project
Client: Southwestern United States
Synopsis of work:
While most copper mines are experiencing dwindling ore grades and reserves, the Morenci mine in Southwestern United States has increased its copper production with the discovery of a large primary sulfide deposit below its existing operations.
From March 2014 to December 2015, Ames crews constructed an ore stockpile facility over the top of a previous stockpile, spanning 500 acres. More than 50 pieces of equipment were on site to excavate and haul rock materials. Because of the unusually high moisture content of the former facility, stability became an issue for productivity of the cut-to-fill operations. The weight of the large equipment was too much for the soft soils of the saturated leach pad and compromised the efficiency of transferring material.
The project included construction of power line roads and foundations, foundations for two primary power stations, two HDPE solution ponds and a haul road. The work scope integrated crushing and placement of material over liner, and installing 1.4 million linear feet of piping. Construction of three miles of overland conveyor corridors required extremely tight tolerances for positioning the conveyor.