Nutrien needed to expand the fine-tailings disposal area at its Allan site in Saskatchewan, Canada, and retained Barr to complete an investigation, alternatives assessment, analysis, and design of the expansion. After Barr’s geotechnical investigation, the project team reviewed alternatives for containing the tailings—focusing on several alignment alternatives and methods to prevent groundwater migration that met the standards of the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) and the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment.
The selected design included a concrete structure to decant brine and allow a tailings beach around the perimeter of the cell. The containment was built with available soils using zoned-earth construction. Barr also designed seepage-collection systems, stormwater controls, and a remote monitoring system, and our engineers were on site during construction to address technical issues, implement the QA/QC plan, and observe and document construction.
Barr has provided a host of other services at the Allan site since 2014, including long-term tailings planning, deposition planning assistance, operator training, installation and troubleshooting of instrumentation, visual dyke inspections, and hydrotechnical analyses.