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Using Muk3D in Design Process

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Evolutionary design process gives optimal results

Improving design frameworks

The design concepts phase of a project is critical in determining project outcomes. Design engineers within most civil consultancies utilise common CADD software such as 12D Model, Civil 3d and MicroStation to provide conceptual design and tailings deposition surfaces to clients.

The typical design framework for any projects is illustrated below:


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ATC Williams utilises Muk3D software to optimise the design workflow for the conceptual designs of structures within the mining and resource sectors which includes Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs), dams and engineered landfills. Muk3D has fast design outputs and a user-friendly interface compared to other CADD software mentioned above. The software offers the advantage of smoothing the initial client communication process before producing a final detailed design with 12D Model.

The advantage of Muk3D software

Muk3D is a versatile 3D design software used for the design and modelling of Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs) and to dynamically design bulk-earthwork structures. ATC Williams was one of the first companies to utilise this software eight years ago in collaborations with the developers, providing feedback for further software improvements. An ongoing symbiotic relationship with the Muk3D developers has resulted in design software developed with a keen understanding of the design needs within the mining and landfill industry.

Effective design and modelling of tailings storage

Muk3D is a geometrical-based software which simulates the filling of the TSF based on inputs on tailings properties, spigots (discharge points) location and elevation levels and decant pond location. These factors are supplied by the client or by experienced TSFs design engineers within ATC Williams.

The cyclic nature of TSFs design and tailing deposition requirements can be time-consuming to ensure site or operating license conditions such as tailings generation rate, TSFs footprint, tailings tail elevation, upstream/downstream storage curve capacity, etc. are met.

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Below is an example of a TSF design that was iteratively modified throughout the design process, based on client feedback:


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ATC Williams’ extensive experience within the mining industry supplemented by Muk3D allows for site-specific, realistic options and recommendations in the design and planning of TSFs.

Dynamic conceptual designs for tailings, water and waste

Dynamic conceptual designs of bulk-earthworks infrastructures such as dams, waste rock dumps, ponds and landfills are achievable with Muk3D. Design opportunities and constraints can be presented to the client for discussion during the early phases of the project.

The designs can be conceptualised within factors such as design footprint, volume, or final height of the infrastructure. Given that the design can be dynamically modified, immediate results can be observed within the Muk3D interface. The two figures below illustrate the impact of variations on the embankment crest height to the surrounding existing site condition and the designed upstream pond capacity.


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The ATC Williams waste teams are integrating Muk3D for the conceptual designs of lined-landfills, providing clients with quick and approximate data that is vital for decision-making. The data includes bulk-earthworks volume, ultimate airspace capacity and landfill life, and waste management strategy for the region. An example of a conceptual design of a landfill base and cap are shown below:


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Satisfactory applications of Muk3d

Other functionalities included within Muk3D includes processing surveys and design strings, retention pond designs and surface water analysis (integration with GoldSim is underway). Python scripting is also possible, accelerating routine-tasks associated with Tailings planning and design.

Our primary aims for the utilisation of Muk3D software is to provide vital information and present design options to clients during early project stages. When the software is paired with our specialty experiences within the tailings, water, and waste, the client receives specific design solutions that satisfy scope requirements.