The Groundwork

Bozshakol Tailings Storage Facility Update

Kazakhstan Project Update

The Bozshakol Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) project is located in the Pavlodar Province within the Republic of Kazakhstan and is approximately 210 km east of the capital city of Astana. Bozshakol is a large scale open pit copper mine.


Since 2009, ATC Williams has been engaged by KAZ Minerals to provide option studies, detailed design, ongoing technical support and QA/QC during operation and construction within the tailings, civil, geotechnical, water, groundwater, tailings transport and mechanical fields for their TSFs.


The existing TSF, Site 2, in operation at the Bozshakol Mine Site, includes embankment lengths of 8.3 km with a total tailings impoundment area of approximately 12 km2.



Life of Mine Studies

ATC Williams has provided a plan over the Life of Mine (43 years) to contain 1,265 Mt of tailings within two TSFs which will eventually cover approximately 55 km2. A range of alternative tailings management, deposition plans, water management, and storage options are considered to optimise the costs and construction work the client must undertake over the LoM.


As site conditions change during operations, continual improvements and adjustments to the LoM planning ensure the client has the most optimised design.




Ongoing and Annual Works

Since 2019, construction works for the Bozshakol TSF have occurred annually to increase the tailings storage capacity of the TSF for an annual tailings production of 30 Mtpa. From 2019 to 2022, construction works have included raising the existing eastern embankments.


A new western embankment being constructed in 2023 will significantly increase the tailings impoundment area of the TSF. After the expansion of the TSF, tailings will be deposited from a distribution platform and ramp at the centre of the TSF, utilising a Centrally Thickened Discharge (CTD) scheme.


As a result of ongoing construction works at the Bozshakol TSF, ATC Williams must deliver large detailed design packages each year, which include:

  • IFR, IFA, IFT and IFC Drawings
  • Technical Specifications
  • Design Reports
  • Operation and Maintenance Manuals
  • Quality Assurance Plans




Location Challenges

This project’s location has unique challenges requiring design and operation consideration.


The main challenge for the Bozshakol TSF is the climate. During the winter months (from late November to early March), the temperature at the Bozshakol Mine Site is constantly below -10° (up to -30°). Due to these freezing conditions, construction works are impossible during this period. Therefore, all construction works must be conducted during the warmer months.


During the winter months, all tailings slurry, tailings bleed water and precipitation are frozen and decant water is not recoverable by any return water systems. As the ice melts in early Spring, a large volume of water expels into the TSF, which is considered by the design. Appropriate return water infrastructure is in place to recover water for other mining purposes.



Onsite and Offsite Supervision

ATC Williams representatives provide onsite Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) during construction to ensure the design is implemented. Our team give constant technical support, and our Project Managers and Design Engineers conduct regular site visits.


If you’d like to know more, contact Morteza Taherian at our Melbourne office here

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