Resolution Copper Mine

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Pipeline design audit

Ausenco was contracted by Resolution Copper Mining to audit the design of six offsite pipeline systems (eight pipelines in total) associated with the expansion of the Resolution Copper Mine located in Superior, Arizona.

The following six pipeline systems were audited:

1. Rougher scavenger tailings from mine site to tailings storage facility (TSF).

2. Pyrite tailings from mine site to pyrite TSF.

3. Copper concentrate from mine site to filter plant.

4. Reclaim water from TSF booster station to mine site.

5. Fresh water from Magma Junction water tank to mine site.

6. Filtrate from filter plant to mine site or tie-in to reclaim water pipeline.

Challenges along the route included:

  • Limited space - all of the pipelines need to be constructed within an existing rail right-of-way from the mine site to the Central Arizona Project canal; and
  • 2 major highway crossings.

On-site route reconnaissance was performed to determine feasibility of construction within the narrow corridor and to recommend a method for constructing the highway crossings.

Ausenco’s final report included an analysis of the proposed designs and recommended changes, as well as a construction cost estimate and risk assessment.

Nearly a billion dollars has been invested in the Resolution Copper Project so far. If the mine is to be developed, that figure will grow to more than $5 billion. If evaluation and feasibility studies are successful, and the land exchange process is completed, production is likely to begin by 2021.

Project details

Water pipelines
Arizona, USA
Business line
Process Infrastructure
Resolution Copper Mining
Studies and technical solutions

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