Cortez Phase IV Tailings Raise & Cell 4 Expansion

Perspectives

Ames Construction // Mine Tailings Dams // Cortez Phase IV Tailings Raise & Cell 4 Expansion

Project Location: Crescent Valley, Nevada

Client: Barrick Cortez

Synopsis of work:

To increase tailings capacity at the Barrick Cortez Mine, Ames constructed a new tailings storage facility and event pond, expanded an existing tailings storage facility, and built a multi-plate conveyor crossing at the site. The work scope also included earthwork, piping and aggregate processing and placement.

Key to the project schedule was production of 2.2 million tons of aggregate material that was processed by Ames from mine site waste material stockpiled adjacent to the project. Crews produced T drainage material, select gravel and wearing course.

The project encountered numerous challenges including limited ingress and egress, working within an active tailings facility and mine operations, and limited access during construction of the concrete foundations for the multi-plate structure.

The tailings dam raise included construction of the embankments, filter zone, abandonment of three leak detection ports and related tie-ins, relocation of a piezometer readout station, removal and relocation of the tailings distribution system and the reclaim system. The project also included temporary and permanent access roads and causeway fill, and the protection of existing—and installation of new—instrumentation and facility performance monitoring systems.

The Cell 4 Expansion required processing and placing the borrow material to produce Zone A and Zone T filter, random embankment materials, HDPE liner installation, drainage layer placement over HDPE liner, underdrain solution and conveyance pipe work, construction of the concrete outlet works and underdrain collection tank, and installation of the vibrating wire piezometer system and settlement monuments.

Click to enlarge any of the photos below:

Crews worked within an active tailings facility and mine operation
Site preparation for new tailings storage facility and event pond
More than 2.2 million tons of aggregate material was processed from mine site waste