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Walter Creek Valley Fill Heap Leach Facility (Fort Knox Mine)

Walter Creek Valley Fill Heap Leach Facility (Fort Knox Mine)

Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. and Kinross Gold Corporation

Alaska, USA

  • Heap leach pad design
  • In-heap pregnant solution pond
  • Linear design to accommodate high stresses generated by the high ore heap
  • Rugged rough terrain and discontinuous permafrost
  • High seismicity
  • Staged construction
  • Construction QA/QC

The Walter Creek Valley Fill Heap Leach Project is part of the Fort Knox open pit gold mine in Alaska, USA. The heap leach pad is a 300 million ton capacity facility being constructed within the upper end of the Walter Creek drainage above the existing tailings management facility (also designed by Knight Piésold) to allow the mine to process some of the low grade materials. At full development, the maximum heap height from toe to crest will be approximately 1,100 feet and the maximum ore thickness in the pad will be about 500 feet. Staged construction began in 2007 with the project scheduled to be constructed in seven stages; at which point year-to-year loading and leaching is planned through 2021. Production from the heap leach began in late 2009.

Knight Piésold’s Role

Knight Piésold completed the design, prepared the package for the Walter Creek Valley Fill Heap Leach Project, and also provided quality assurance and quality control during construction.