Olovo Lead Mine

Olovo Lead Mine

Mineco Limited

Olovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Detailed design for filtered stacked tailings storage facility completed 2018, for 2.2 Mt
  • Construction early 2019. Commissioning due late 2019
Project Overview

The Olovo deposit is a high-grade vein type mineralisation of over 25 separate structures, which strike approximately E-W across the Biostica valley. The cerussite ore is the product of oxidation of primary sulphide mineralisation, which still can be found in traces in some parts of the deposit. The vein mineralisation is up to 15 m thick and extends over almost 2 km horizontally. After extraction, the ore will be processed in a gravity separation plant, which requires no chemicals to separate the minerals and is planned to be commissioned in the autumn of 2019. 

The tailings storage facility (TSF) will be constructed from filtered tailings in an engineered stack, commonly referred to as a “stack” constructed in layers with mechanical compaction equipment.  Filtration (removal of water from the tailings) at the processing plant will produce a soil like material, namely “filter cake tailings,” that can be used to construct a tailings stack over the 25-year life of mine.

The base of the TSF, constructed and lined with in-situ compacted natural clay, also comprises an internal herringbone drainage system to convey seepage water directly to an external seepage pond, and subsequently to the passive water treatment system (sand filter).  Surface water management systems via the provision of external and sub-surface channel/pipe systems are also included based on site-specific hydrological assessments.

Project Role

Knight Piésold assisted Mineco Limited to develop a TSF, suitable for storing an estimated 2.2 Mt of tailings solids. The services included:

  • Options assessment/trade-off study – looking at slurry tailings, Geobags and filtered stacked tailings
  • Design and management of geotechnical investigation
  • Preliminary and detailed design of TSF and ancillary infrastructure
  • Construction and design support
  • Construction Quality Assurance (CQA) support