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Keller completes foundation works for Australian dam

Keller Australia has completed foundation works on the Arraw Dam, that will be used for mining bauxite.

Working with Bechtel, the firm has completed the foundations for a 24M.m³ fresh water dam for mining company Rio Tinto which is mining bauxite at Weipa, northern Queensland.

Keller senior project engineer Mathias Delapille said “To prevent water seeping beneath the dam, the project called for a cut-off wall to be built.

“The project involved constructing a 22,000m2 cement-bentonite slurry wall, 2.3km long, 800mm wide and to depths of 7 to 13m.

Starting in May 2017, in humid conditions and 40°C heat, Keller found high levels of overbreak, with slurry disappearing into the ground’s macropores.

“Obviously this caused concern for us and Bechtel because of the potential for delay and the need to use more product,” says Mathias. “But we reacted very quickly and, thanks to a joint effort with Bechtel’s logistic team, we were able to work with our suppliers to accelerate delivery schedules from Brisbane and remain on schedule ourselves.

In total around US$2bn (£1.1bn) is being invested in the mine’s infrastructure, which includes roads, a port, a ferry terminal and a processing plant.

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