Tailings Storage Facility


In a nine-month start-to-finish project, Ames crews built a tailings storage facility for a mine in southwestern Arizona that included construction of a new underdrain channel system, tailings dam and a seepage pond. The seepage collection facility at the edge of the property boundary protects the San Francisco River from unauthorized discharge.

The project included the installation of a new tailings jacking header structure. The structure required assembly of a massive amount of steel parts for each of the 62 sections. Keeping a sharp eye on all delivered materials was a key factor in the success of the project, with Ames maintaining a clean and organized yard so that crews could locate material efficiently when ready to prebuild the header sections. The 24-inch steel piping for the jacking header was fabricated on the ground and flown in by crane fully assembled, increasing productivity and greatly improving safety. The 2,700-foot system—equivalent to twice the height of the Eiffel Tower—was installed in less than eight days and commissioned in only one day, allowing the client to be operational.

The project grew substantially from the original awarded contract, with a stage added to build a blanket drain system for the jacking header to cross, yet the schedule could not be extended. Ames mobilized additional crews and equipment to the site, completing the project a month ahead of schedule.