Located 75 miles southwest of Elko Nevada, Cortez Hills is a large underground gold mine. To support development and production, Stantec was asked to complete the detailed engineering and design of an underground pumping station for the mine. Designed as the primary collection point for all mine dewatering activities, the pumping station was designed with separate contact and non-contact water sumps and pumping systems.
The contact water sump and pumping system was designed to pump water that had been exposed to the underground mine environment and had some quantity of entrained impurities. The non-contact system collected water through imbedded depressurization lines. Because the non-contact water was protected from impurities through its own separate set of piping and pumps, it could be released directly to the concentrator to be reused. During development there was a significant risk of encountering underground aquifers, which could have been detrimental to the project’s success. To reduce the risk, we added an additional arrangement of piping in the design so that if required, both the contact and non-contact water pumping systems to be used concurrently.