Olympic Dam Evaporation Pond Design

BHP required a new evaporation pond to store decanted liquor from the tailings retention system at their Olympic Dam facility. GPA were engaged to undertake the Structural, Mechanical, Piping, Electrical and Instrumentation (SMPE&I) design for a new 40ha evaporation pond.

The project was fast tracked to sustain mine production according to BHP’s 5-year plan and required a tight schedule to be adhered to. The evaporation pond design was executed in collaboration with geotechnical and geomembrane specialists, as well as key client stakeholders.

GPA developed the initial concept and options studies, then commenced with front-end engineering design and completed the project through to detailed design. The scope included:

  • 4 pump stations with Warman 8/6 transfer pumps
  • Over 12 km of HDPE pipe including an 8.3 km main trunk-line
  • 2 km of HV overhead powerline
  • 3 transformers and switch-rooms providing pump station power and control

GPA successfully completed the SMPE&I design, working closely with both BHP and the other key stakeholders.

Upon completion of design phases, GPA was able to provide construction support services through regular site visits. These visits often connected design intent with construction activities and short circuited any potential problems. This ultimately led to smooth government approvals and transition to operation.

GPA completed the concept, preliminary and detailed design for infrastructure associated with a new evaporation pond at Olympic Dam. The project was completed ensuring a high standard of safety, functionality and operability, allowing BHP to sustain their production targets.