Fort Knox Barren Solution Booster Pump

Awards: 2016 ACEC Montana Engineering Excellence Award

Morrison-Maierle designed the Fort Knox Barren Solution Booster Pump Station to pump outflows from two of Kinross Gold Corporation’s Carbon-in-Column (CIC) plants at the site. The station is also designed to boost the combined flow to an increased elevation at the Walter Creek Heap Leach facility.

In June and July of 2014, 15 inches of rain steadily fell at the Fort Knox Mine. As a result, the construction season was cut short and had the most impact on the preparation of the subgrade surface and weld geomembrane liner used to expand the heap leach facility. As only about half of the liner was installed in the 2014 construction season, the stacking plan for the heap leach facility had to be increased to much higher elevations than what Morrison-Maierle originally planned. As a result, the design and construction of the booster pump station had to be expedited.

Planning exercises commenced in August 2014 to determine when the booster pump station would need to be running in order to support continued stacking on the Walter Creek Heap Leach facility. As the stacking pattern was adjusted to maximize use of the installed liner, Morrison-Maierle’s design team determined the booster pump station would need to be started in early July 2015 to avoid hampering operations and production. The construction season at the mine site typically begins mid-May, so a July commissioning date meant there were only two months available to build the plant. By the end of August 2014, it was clear to the team that unconventional measures were needed in order to build the plant on time.

Morrison-Maierle used all of its engineering capabilities and provided process, civil, structural, mechanical HVAC, and electrical designs for the Barren Solution Booster Pump Station. They also provided procurement services for the long-lead, owner-supplied equipment, construction administration services, and commissioning services on the project.