Whaleback TSF3 Embankment Raise


BHP Billiton

Total Project Value


RJV Scope

TSF embankment raise and associated works

Project Location

Newman, Pilbara region of Western Australia

Project details

This project involved the raising of the existing tailings wall by 2m to a level of RL 591m to provide future tailing storage. This stage required raising 3 existing dam walls, 2 saddle dam walls and associated works such as removal and relocation of pipe networks, installation of spillways, rock cladding and wearing course material.

One of the biggest risks with this project was the management of traffic, particularly heavy construction equipment traffic in the narrow confines of the embankment crest. Mine waste material was moisture conditioned and loaded by 85t excavator into 50t articulated dump trucks in the stockpile area and hauled out to the different works fronts. The same access had to be used for entry and exit to this area. This operation, along with the multiple fronts being worked at once meant that pinch points were heavily trafficked and had to be managed carefully through strategic traffic management plans and constant radio communication between all vehicles.

Other miscellaneous tasks were undertaken on this project such as the construction of the extension of access ramp spillway and rock fill drains. These works were undertaken around the bulk embankment construction to ensure the most efficient program for the client.

RJV’s experience on detailed bulk earthworks projects such as this coupled with careful HSEQ management of the project saw this project completed on time, within budget and with zero incidents or accidents.