CTD Tailings Storage Facility
Sunrise Dam Gold Mine is located in a semi-desert region about 200 km northeast of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The mine has been operating since 1997, with ATC Williams involved in design and operational assistance with the tailings storage at this site for the entire period.
The original tailings dam was a conventional paddock style storage, but after initial start-up, a new system based on the concept of central thickened discharge (CTD) was quickly introduced. The CTD has operated since 1999.
The original CTD design comprised a cone approximately 2km in diameter, with a low perimeter wall. Bleed water and rainfall runoff are collected into a lined pond on the low side of the storage and recycled. A seepage interception drain was added around part of the perimeter and now recovers a significant proportion of the returned water.
There have been a series of small perimeter raises and raises of the pipeline access ramp. ATC Williams has worked closely with the process operators to optimise the depositional arrangement with a resulting progressive increase in beach slope and capacity.
Following continuing increases in the planned mine life, the footprint of the CTD has been significantly extended.