Mega tailings dam in South Africa could get kyboshed

Fin24 is reporting that a huge tailings dam being built in Kuma township could get kyboshed due to opposition  from environmental groups, pressure groups and demands from landowners.

The Kareerand tailings dam being built by First Uranium TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM 15km outside Stilfontein is a R400 million project motivated by a need to solve the ubiquitous dust cloud that currently envelops Kuma residents from 15 old tailings dams — relics from the Buffelsfontein and Hartbeesfontein gold mines — says Fin24, which describes the dam in some detail:

The techniques being applied to the design and building of the enormous tailings dam, which will hold 450 tonnes of processed mine tailings in the first stage of its lifetime, have never been used elsewhere.

The walls of tailings dams are always built at a 45-degree slope, but the Kareerand Dam’s slope is 15 degrees. This is to reduce the wind resistance on the wall. The final wall is also being constructed with scalloped inlets to retain the rainwater that runs down and thus prevent erosion, said Fraser Alexander engineer Beric Robinson, who designed the tailings dam. He is regarded as a worldwide expert in tailing dam design.

Seven different sites were considered before the current site was chosen, Fin24 reported.

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