Klohn Crippen Berger Wins Gold for Antamina Mine

December 21, 2010

Consult Australia presented Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) with the Gold Award (water category) for "integrated site-wide water balance and water quality for mine closure" at Antamina.

Klohn Crippen Berger was commissioned to develop a water quality/water balance model for Compañía Minera Antamina SA, in order to facilitate mine closure planning. Compañía Minera Antamina SA, a mining company operating in Peru, is committed to meeting the highest standards of environmental management.

The Antamina mine is situated in the rugged Central Andes, approximately 4,200 m above sea level and 280 km northeast of Lima. Ore is extracted from the Antamina mine using open pit mining techniques. The ore is processed to produce a metal concentrate that is piped to the Peruvian coast for shipping overseas. Waste material generated by the mining process is deposited in a number of waste rock dumps (WRD) and a tailings storage facility (TSF). Andean communities reside downstream of the project site.

As with most mining operations, some impacts on the environment have been identified. Antamina has made significant and diligent efforts to provide infrastructure to manage impacts associated with water, including diverting clean water, providing adequate control systems and treatment of contaminated flows, and capturing downstream flows that do not meet compliance criteria.

Working with Antamina, Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd (KCB) developed a unique predictive closure water quality model; incorporating the open pit, two waste rock dumps (EWRD and TWRD) and the tailings storage facility.

As such, they were looking for an effective method of simulating water and waste management scenarios to assist mine planners in making adequate provisions for post-closure and to minimize long-term impacts.

The model was developed in GoldSim to provide a robust and fully integrated water balance and water quality model. The model has been provided to Compañía Minera Antamina SA as a standalone application available to all mine staff associated with environmental or closure planning. User-defined input parameters allow the accommodation of improved understanding of the mine from on-site research programs; and, also allows the application of various closure water management scenarios. In this way, the model can be used as an effective tool in closure planning.

The external peer reviewer of the project acclaimed it as world class and at the cutting edge. Judges commented that the project was technically excellent, and also was well documented and delivered in the manner that suited the client’s requirements.

The Consult Australia Awards for Excellence is an annual event offering a unique opportunity for industry and community recognition of the outstanding achievements of Consult Australia Member Firms.