Rössing Uranium Mine
This mine is a 45,000 tpd open pit uranium mine located in the very arid climate of the Namib Desert where water resources are at a premium. Dr. Robertson, as part of the SRK team, was retained in 1981 to review tailings disposal procedures and to redesign the tailings dam and develop new procedures of deposition to better utilize available storage capacity and reduce water losses. The existing dam is about 8500 m in length and is 60 m high at maximum section.
The water usage at Rössing was reduced from 1.2 tons of water/ton ore to 0.35 tons water/ton ore by the implementation of a “Paddy” system of tailings management The reduction in water usage was achieved by concentrating discharged tailings into sections (or paddies) within the existing tailings impoundment, as well as through new water management systems that optimize water recycle and maintain a very small return water pond and through the adoption of water conservation practices in the entire mining operations.
- Site investigation, laboratory testing, evaluation of foundation and borrow materials.
- Design for tailings dam extensions, including seepage and stability analyses.
- Preparation of construction drawings.
- Co-ordination and review of inspection of tailings dam construction.
- Surface and groundwater studies for water budget.
- Evaluation of groundwater pollution and contaminant migration.
- Bi-annual inspections of tailings disposal facilities.
Rössing Uranium Co,