WRP Mine, Ouyen, Victoria, Australia

Iluka Resources

2000 – 2012

Situation

In 2000 we carried out an investigation and pit slope design in conjunction with AMC Consultants P/L (AMC) for the Iluka Resources Limited (Iluka) proposed WRP open cut mineral sands mine in north-west Victoria.

Solution

ATC Williams and AMC both have a long history of involvement with Iluka projects. In this case we were lead consultant responsible for completing the following:

  • Geotechnical investigation and providing geotechnical information for design purposes.
  • Design of the Plant site including footing bearing pressures on natural soils and fill pads.
  • Design of road pavements and hardstand areas preliminary investigation of a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF).
  • AMC completed the design of the pit slopes, using the results of laboratory testing carried out by us.

Obtaining suitable undisturbed samples of the sandy soils for laboratory triaxial testing was a critical issue for the project. Previous attempts using conventional coring techniques had limited success. We approached drilling company Boart Longyear and requested a modified SONIC drilling method for the investigation. The modification comprised using polycarbonate liners in the head drilling barrel and the pushing of the barrel without rotation and without the use of water or any other drilling fluid. The modified SONIC drilling method worked extremely well and excellent undisturbed samples of materials ranging from no fines sand to heavily indurated sand were recovered for subsequent laboratory testing.