Summary of a Drilling and Large Penetration Test Program to Confirm the Density of Soils Subjected to Dynamic Compaction for the Bay-Goose Dike at the Meadowbank Gold Project in Nunavut, Canada

Author: Charlie Harrison, Grant Bonin, Fiona Esford, Michel Julien
Conference: GeoOttawa 2017
Date: October 1-4, 2017

A drilling and large diameter penetration test (LPT) program was carried out, ahead of cut-off wall construction and
grouting, in dike fill materials subjected to dynamic compaction for the Bay-Goose Dike at the Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., Meadowbank Gold Project near Baker Lake, NU. The dike is necessary to allow open pit mining in the dry, adjacent to open water, and it was considered essential that the dike perform as designed. The purpose of the testing program was (1) to confirm that adequate compaction of the dike fill material was achieved, and (2) to confirm that fine grained sediments overlying bedrock at the base of the dike fills had been suitably removed. A method of testing was required that could reach the full depth (nearly 10 m) of the dike fill materials, which consisted of sand and gravel, and could be easily deployed to this remote site.

The program was carried out using a modified, automatic trip hammer and a pile dynamic analyzer to measure the
energy efficiency of the hammer. The correlation between the LPT and the standard penetration test (SPT) followed the method summarized by Daniel et al (2001). Although the drilling and testing program was carried out using an air-rotary downhole hammer, results of the testing program were considered to be representative of the actual dike fill conditions. This paper discusses the equipment used, the drilling and sampling methods carried out, and the results of the in-situ testing program.


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