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Sino Iron Tailings Storage Facility Stage 2B

This is the fourth project at the tailing dam that BGC has successfully completed for CPM at Cape Preston to improve the existing tailings dam storage facility, in order to cater for the increased production of magnetite at the Sino Iron Mine.

Project Details

This project involved the construction of the north and west walls of the Tailings Dam from RL 39 to RL 45 with selected borrowed materials from the mining operation. Works included installation of Coletanche Bituminous Geomembrane (BGM) and other liner materials, plus raising of the existing decant structure.

The main scope of works consisted of:

  • Construction of embankment for the North and West Walls of the Tailings Dam with 120,000m3 of selected borrow material, hauled, placed, compacted and trimmed to design levels
  • Placed and installed 60,000m2 of BGM and other geofabric liner materials
  • Placement of 2.2kms of safety berm on dam walls.

Challenges, Innovations & Outcomes

BGC was contracted to mobilise to site within two weeks of contract award. With a shortage of 40T articulated dump trucks in WA, BGC leveraged off a well-established relationship with a preferred plant supplier who purchased 2 x brand new 40T trucks specifically for the project. Within 7 days of BGC requesting the trucks, they were loaded onto 2 x 50T floats in Perth and mobilised 1,500km north to Cape Preston.

During the works, the temperature parameters for BGM installation were going to be exceeded as per the supplier’s recommendations. BGC engaged with CPM to also consider the health and safety impacts that would be endured by our employees, subcontractors and CPM representatives during placement and welding of the lining materials. Liner temperatures reached approximately 83ºC during the day shift. In order to ensure the health and safety of the people working on the liner laying operation, and following discussions with CPM, these works were changed to night shift.

The CPM supplied material included a large quantity of oversized material and rock, which would cause significant quality issues due to the high likelihood of the rock puncturing the liner. Having raised the issue with CPM, it was deemed more cost-effective to use the material rather than source new. Through an ad-hoc screening process developed on site which removed the majority of rocks, a crew on hand to patch-up any small imperfections and puncture caused by the rock protrusion including a thorough quality assurance process on site, the integrity of the liner was fully maintained.

BGC recorded zero MTIs, zero LTIs and zero environmental infringements under a very tight construction program. This project is an excellent example of BGC’s Charter and our VALUES with the commitment to the health and safety of employees to implement change.

Client: CITIC Pacific Mining

September 2018 - January 2019
Western Australia