Tailings Storage Facility Design, Construction Monitoring, & Operational Support for the New Afton Mine

CLIENT: New Gold Inc.

LOCATION: British Columbia, Canada

The New Afton Mine is a block cave operation from the redevelopment of a historical open pit mine near Kamloops, British Columbia. The mine site has two active Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs), a mill and ancillary buildings, as well as the structures remaining from historical mining (i.e., pits, waste dumps and a closed TSF). Tailings are the primary waste product and are stored using two facilities – the New Afton TSF and the Pothook TSF. The New Afton TSF is the main impoundment that features the following:

  • Five dams that overlie historical waste rock, glacial sediments (till, glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine), and/or bedrock
  • The basal waste rock and portions of four dams use a (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) LLDPE geomembrane liner as the water retaining element
  • Portions of all dams are zoned earthfill with a compacted till core 
  • All dams use cyclone sand and/or rockfill in the shells 
  • The dams are raised annually in a centreline or downstream direction
  • BGC’s services include design, construction monitoring and general operating support for the active TSFs 

Block cave induced subsidence is proximal to the New Afton TSF and is being monitored in consideration of dam performance objectives and with responses to the developed thresholds. The impounded tailings to date were characterized to support design of tailings stabilization should it be required for the current operation or possible expansion.