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Bauer wins diamond mine cut-off wall contract

Bauer has been appointed by minerals operator Rio Tinto to construct a 2.2km long cut-off wall to enable open pit operations to be carried out at the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada.

Award of the €65M (£47.5M) contract follows on from similar work undertaken at the mine between 2000 and 2002 to allow diamond mining below Lac de Gras.

Bauer will use the cutter soil mining (CSM) method to construct the 26m deep cut-off wall to create a water retention dyke to allow the fourth kimberlite at the mine to be exploited.

The scale of the work is not the only challenge as the mine is located 220km south of the Arctic Circle so work can only be carried out at the site between May and October. Bauer has also said that logistics is a major challenge as transport of large items can only be completed during an eight week window in winter when an ice road to the mine is open. As a result the project will be completed in two phases between 2016 and 2017.

During the 2016 phase, Bauer will use two BG30 rotary drilling rigs, three Klemm Bohrtechnik drilling rigs to carry out soil improvement, undertake trials and carry out curtain grouting work. The cut-off wall will be constructed in 2017 using five BG30 rig configured to undertake pre-drilling, CSM work and jet grouting.

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