SOMAIR Uranium Mine Heap Leach Pad
AREVA and its subsidiary, SOMAIR, have a long history of leach pad operation; the current leach pad is constructed over preexisting leach pads from the late 1970s and early 1980s. SRK optimized the design to limit the cut-and-fill earthworks, while still providing pad-drainage slopes for gravity drainage through a solution channel to the ponds.
As designed, the leach pad has a capacity of 17 million tonnes of uranium ore, based on an annual production of 1.4 million tonnes. The final pad was designed with a height of 30m, comprising five-6m lifts. The leach pad and pond has a composite lining system consisting of a 300mm-thick, low-permeability clay layer overlain by a 2mm-high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner.
The drainage system is made up of perforated pipes placed in a herring bone pattern within individual cells, and connected to collection pipes that drain to the process ponds. This piping was then covered with overliner material, consisting of selected and screened ore material.
In 2008, SRK assisted AREVA with quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) for the project by providing an engineer. The SRK engineer oversaw and coordinated the construction QA/QC on site during critical earthwork stages of pad and process pond construction. SRK also provided engineering and design support to the project during construction.
At the completion of the earthworks construction phase, SRK produced an as-built report and drawings, detailing the construction process and any changes to the design that occurred during the earthworks construction phase.
Dave Luppnow: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can download a PDF of the entire
Our newsletters focus on specific areas of interest to earth resource professionals and clients. Each is available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. If you don't already have Adobe's PDF reader, you can download it free.