Rössing Uranium Mine

Namibia

Related Clients

Years of Service

1981 to 1994

Project Description

This mine is a 45,000 tpd open pit uranium mine. Dr. Robertson, as part of the SRK team, was retained in 1981 to review tailings disposal procedures and to redesign the tailings dam and develop new procedures of deposition to better utilize available storage capacity and reduce water losses. (The very arid climate of the Namib Desert, in which the mine is located, puts water resources at a premium). The existing dam is about 8500 m in length and is 60 m high at maximum section.

Services Provided

  • Site investigation, laboratory testing, evaluation of foundation and borrow materials.
  • Design for tailings dam extensions, including seepage and stability analyses.
  • Preparation of construction drawings.
  • Co-ordination and review of inspection of tailings dam construction.
  • Surface and groundwater studies for water budget.
  • Evaluation of groundwater pollution and contaminant migration.
  • Bi-annual inspections of tailings disposal facilities.

Results

The water usage at Rössing was reduced from 1.2 tons of water/ton ore to 0.35 tons water/ton ore by the implementation of a "Paddy" system of tailings management The reduction in water usage was achieved in the paddy system by concentrating tailings discharges into sections (or paddies) developed in the existing tailings impoundment, new water management systems to reduce water recycle and maintain a very small return water pond and adopting water conservation practices in the entire mining operations.