Jackpine Mine

Since 2005, KCB has been involved in the feasibility design and the detailed design and construction support of the external tailings storage facility at the Jackpine oil sands mine, near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. KCB was also the primary consultant for the Thickened Tailings project at Jackpine Mine, a commercial demonstration of removing water and fine-grained material from tailings before their storage, to meet the Alberta Energy Resource Conservation Board’s Directive 074 (since superseded by Directive 085 “Fluid Tailings Management for Oil Sands Mining Projects” in 2017).

Challenges

  • Design tailings storage facilities on a geologically-complex foundation
  • Design for managing surface water and seepage from tailings storage facilities
  • Improve process of storing tailings at oil sands mines
  • Understanding and mitigating impact of potential tailings dam breach

Solutions

  • Geological mapping and investigation of foundation soils
  • Continuous performance monitoring of tailings facility
  • Design for discharge of fine-grained tailings into drying cells for thickening
  • Developed dam breach and inundation model using HEC-RAS and FLO-2D software
  • Developed predictive water quality models and concentrations of total suspended solids at selected downstream locations

Successes

  • Minimized volume of construction materials, lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
  • Construction cost savings by refining construction techniques of starter dykes
  • Stored “thickened” tailings meet regulatory requirements
  • Recommended mitigation measures as part of emergency response planning

Papers:

Bayliss, A.I., L. Philip, D. Hepp and S. Martens. 2013. “A Geotechnical Study of Glacially-Rafted, Weak, Clearwater Formation Beneath a Tailings Dam, Fort McMurray Region, Alberta,” in Proceedings of the 68th Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 7th Canadian Permafrost Conference, GeoQuébec 2015, “Challenges from North to South”, September 20 – 23, 2015, Quebec City, Quebec.

Bayliss, A.I., L. Philip, K. Masterson, R. Wong, M. Rahman, D. Hepp, M. Clarke, S. Martens and M. Elbanna. 2014. “The Geological Influences of Glacially Rafted Clearwater Formation on the Design and Operation of an External Tailings Facility,” in GeoRegina 2014: 67th Canadian Geotechnical Conference, September 28-October 2, 2014. Canadian Geotechnical Society.

Bayliss, A. 2015. “Characterization Glacial Tills Excavation Fort McMurray,” in Proceedings of the 68th Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 7th Canadian Permafrost Conference, GeoQuébec 2015, “Challenges from North to South”, September 20 – 23, 2015, Quebec City, Quebec.

If you are interested in obtaining these publications, please email library@klohn.com.