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Case Study

Rising of the Nova Vista Tailing Dam

Tailings dam aerial

Conceptual and detailed design of the Nova Vista Tailing Dam dike rising (10m high), including technical specifications for the construction and investigation's supervision.

The situation

The Nova Vista Tailing Dam is a 1,790m long dike built to protect a suburb of Itabita City from the iron tailings coming from the processing facilities of Itabira Mining (VALE).

Our approach

We conducted the conceptual and detailed design of the dike rising (10m high), including technical specifications for the construction and investigation's supervision.

Our client required a two-stage rising project, designed as an upstream method using the fine iron tailings. Several in-situ tests (SPT and CPT) and laboratory tests were conducted to evaluate the main geotechnical conditions of the existing clayey dam and tailings.

Results

The dike was designed to be stable during a static liquefaction event, a condition achieved with an unusual internal drainage solution. The construction was undertaken while the reservoir was under operation, which also demanded a special design of the water management during the construction.

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