ATC Williams delivers Kazakhstan package during COVID-19 lockdown

ATC Williams delivers Kazakhstan package during COVID-19 lockdown

Bozshakol Tailings Storage Facility (TSF), Kazakhstan

The Bozshakol TSF project is located in the Northern Province of Kazakhstan close to the Russian border. Bozshakol is a large scale, open pit copper mine. It is the largest single copper mine development in Kazakhstan in terms of volume and value.

Since 2009, ATC Williams has been engaged by KAZ Minerals to provide design studies and ongoing technical support during operation and construction within the tailings, civil, geotechnical, water and mechanical fields for their Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs).

Project scope and challenges

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

The main challenge is related to tailings deposition and decant water recovery during winter when the temperature is constantly below -10° for more than three months each year.

Integrated services delivered during 2020 lockdown

ATC Williams has recently finalised a large package of multi-discipline tasks undertaken from April 2020 to May 2021 (over $1M package) during the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria. Our Tailings and Water teams were able to work cohesively and remotely during the ongoing 2020 lockdown to successfully deliver the following tasks across our service areas:

  • Rheology Testing
  • Hydraulic Assessment
  • Geotechnical Investigation
  • Hydrogeology Study
  • Basic Design (Civil, Geotechnical)
  • Basic Design (Mechanical)
  • Water Balance Modelling
  • Detailed Design (Site 2 Stage 3 Embankment Raise)
  • Dam Break Analysis

Project features and successes

This is a unique project in a very cold environment. ATC Williams is providing design and support across many interconnected engineering disciplines.

  • Ongoing technical support to KAZ Minerals regarding various aspects related to Bozshakol Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs)
  • TSF Site 2 Stage 3 works packages finalised in 2021
  • Construction works for Site 2 Stage 3 embankments are currently underway
  • Over the Life of Mine, the Bozshakol Mine is expected to produce 1,265 Mt of tailings stored in TSFs which cover approx. 55 km2

Project team

The ATC Williams team who worked directly on this project are:

  • Morteza Taherian, Principal Engineer and Project Manager
  • Sadegh Javadi, Senior Associate Engineer
  • Elman Basser, Senior Engineer
  • Kostantinos Takos, Engineer
  • Chin Vithanage, Experienced CADD Technician

Other staff include:

  • Arash Roshdieh, Principal Engineer and reviewer
  • Keith Seddon, Senior Principal Engineer and reviewer
  • Gideon Steyl, Principal Engineer
  • Adam Farshad, Engineer
  • Yuqi Tan, Senior Engineer
  • Elmer Azucena, Experienced CADD Technician

Expert Opinion Tailings