Tailings storage facility expansion

SRK was commissioned by Focus Minerals Limited to provide professional services associated with their Three Mile Hill in-pit tailings storage facility (TSF) in Western Australia. This facility forms part of the Coolgardie Gold Project and currently receives tailings at a rate of 1.2 Mtpa. Focus requested that SRK undertake an evaluation of the current operations and design the required expansion in support of a mining proposal. 

SRK recognised that there were unique challenges associated with this project that included:
• Achieving synergy with the existing tailings disposal operations during the transition
• Integrating the proposed expanded facility with the existing infrastructure on the site
• Accounting for the proximity of the Coolgardie to Kalgoorlie highway
• Working with the limited availability of construction materials

SRK completed an evaluation of the current in-pit TSF and confirmed that the facility had approximately 2 to 3 years worth of storage capacity remaining, after which an expanded facility will be required. As part of this evaluation SRK developed operating strategies for the remaining life of the in-pit TSF to maximise storage, manage the various deposition scenarios, facilitate the decanting process and lay the groundwork for the proposed facility expansion.

SRK evaluated options for an expanded facility for Focus’s approval by directing the site investigation, materials assessments, and detailed phases of the project.

As the design and implementation of the expanded facility was not required immediately, the project scope of work was divided into phases to take advantage of the time available. This strategy allowed Focus the time to evaluate the options. SRK is currently completing the detailed design of the expanded above-ground facility.

Caroline Holmes: cholmes@srk.com.au
Dave Luppnow: dluppnow@srk.com.au



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