Tailings Pond Design and Monitoring

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada

Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) designed an External Tailings Facility (ETF) located at our client’s oil sands mine, north of Ft. McMurray. KCB delivered design for ETF dykes, seepage control, groundwater management and modelling, and surficial water management.

Technically challenging ETF dyke design considered slope stability assessments in variable geological conditions and high groundwater pressures. Groundwater management and modelling focused on an underlying buried sand channel and also the tailings deposition impacts on surrounding groundwater and surface water bodies. Surface water management included an innovative riparian wetlands habitat.

KCB provided engineering support for starter dike construction, including:

  • resident engineering;
  • construction inspection;
  • borrow source identification, and
  • provision of all construction drawings and specifications

KCB provides ongoing geotechnical engineering and hydrogeological support for the operational performance of the dykes.

KCB provides design updates to raise the dykes to the current elevation, which requires advanced numerical modelling for deformation analyses.

KCB and the client have a long term relationship built on trust and performance during the development of the ETF.


  • Tailings dike design including advanced numerical modelling
  • Installation of instrumentation and review of data
  • Regulatory support and annual performance review reports
  • Engineering construction support and field quality control
  • Specification and Construction drawings packages
Tailings-Pond.jpg 3 years ago
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