Design of the Pierina waste dump

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 96, No. 1073, 2003

P.M. Hawley, X. Ochoa, R. Sharon

Development of Barrick Gold’s Pierina gold mine in north-central Peru requires construction of a waste dump for disposal of nonore grade materials stripped from the open pit to expose the ore. The waste dump site is located near the open pit in a U-shaped valley that is underlain by thin colluvial and morainal soils with locally thick peats and glaciolacustrine deposits. Bedrock underlying the site consists of variably weathered volcanics. The site is subject to moderately high seasonal rainfall and significant seismicity. The geotechnical quality of the waste rock is highly variable, ranging from low-quality, degradable, soil-like materials containing appreciable quantities of silt and clay, to high-quality, hard, durable, blocky waste rock. A hybrid dump design concept was developed that requires in-pit segregation of highand low-quality waste, and selective placement of materials in the dump to maximize stability and enhance internal and subsurface drainage. The design includes a rock drain beneath the dump along the axis of the valley and a series of connected finger drains. Extensive peripheral diversions and stormwater control measures to inhibit infiltration of precipitation are also included. This paper discusses the unique challenges presented by the site and waste materials, the design methodology and stability analyses, and planned monitoring systems.
Keywords: Waste rock dump, Seismicity, Risk assessment, Pore pressure, Rock drain