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Knight Piésold

Engineering, Infrastructure and Management Services for Mining Operations

The name Knight Piésold has been made synonymous with quality engineering, environmental science and construction support for mine infrastructure.

4 De La Rey Road,
Sandton 2128,
South Africa

Knight Piésold’s experience in tailings dam engineering and the disposal of particulate mine waste dates back to the 1930s, with experience in all types of tailings and management systems.

Tailings storage and management

Knight Piésold has pioneered the development of alternative tailings management technologies such as drained sub-aerial systems, cycloned wall raising, and has also been involved in thickened and paste tailings disposal projects, as well as dewatered ‘dry stack’ tailings systems. We have a strong capability in design reviews and third-party audits.

Knight Piésold has gained significant experience in recent projects designing and installing clay and geosynthetic barrier systems for tailings facilities as well as return water dams. This experience includes the regulatory approval process, as well as waste classification and geochemical analyses (acid mine drainage).

Knight Piésold has extensive experience in seepage and stability analyses for not only TSFs but also water dams, and other mineral residue or mine waste dumps. This includes seismic stability. In addition, KP has developed in-house dam breach analysis software which has become a requirement for many new TSFs.

Zoned, water-retaining embankment for tailings containment.
Heap leach pad design, construction supervision and operation monitoring.
Cycloned tailings beach.
Giant cyclone deposition in use on large tailings storage facility.
Water reclamation and storage dams.
Siphon decant.
Gravity decant tower.

Knight Piésold offers a full range of inspection and monitoring services for operational TSFs to ensure that they are operated and managed safely and in accordance with operating manuals and emergency response plans. This includes commissioning support and training for new facilities or those in transitional phases.

Heap and dump leach design

Knight Piésold has extensive experience in designing leach pads for all locations, sizes and a range of ores and minerals.

Substantial expertise has been accumulated in satisfying stringent groundwater protection requirements with extensive use of synthetic membranes and natural soils as lining materials.

Our design work includes all solution collection facilities, ponds, water reservoirs and irrigation systems. We have partnered with process design specialists to provide a full design service.

Waste rock dumps and ore stockpiles

Knight Piésold has assisted in mine planning, design and monitoring of waste rock facilities and stockpiles with respect to physical and chemical stability, environmental, closure and water management aspects.

Geotechnical services

Knight Piésold‘s geotechnical office in Pretoria, specialises in many aspects of geotechnical engineering and engineering geology.

The office provides this expertise to the mining, transport and water divisions within the company, as well as to external clients such as consultants, mining houses, developers and governmental bodies. Specialised skills have been developed in site investigation in both soils and rock.

Comprehensive laboratory and interpretive services are offered in-house and through our associate company, Civilab in South Africa.

Our highly qualified geotechnical specialists are able to carry out a full range of site investigations, construction materials investigations, dam and embankment design, shallow foundations and pile foundation design, slope stability and pit slope stability analysis, lateral support design, rock mechanics and rock classification, rock bolt and anchor design, tunnel geotechnical investigations, grouting of dams and tunnels, dolomite studies, waste landfill investigations and design, and long-term settlement predictions.


The company offers groundwater studies for water supply, water quality monitoring and mine dewatering. We team up with contractors for drilling, pump testing and water sampling to support these services.

We build hydrogeological models to assess and predict dewatering and contamination impact, as well as propose remediation solutions.

Water management

Knight Piésold has designed water management systems for mining projects worldwide.

We offer a full range of water management services to the mining industry based on international experience in hydrology, hydraulics, hydrogeology and geochemistry. Services include surface water resources planning, hydrogeological investigations, river diversions, mine dewatering, water balance studies (stochastic and probabilistic/risk-based approach), water quality assessment and treatment.

Knight Piésold is recognised as a leader in dam engineering and is able to carry out dam safety inspections for all categories and types of dams.

We have extensive expertise in developing hydropower projects for mining companies to ensure an independent reliable power supply.

Environmental management

Knight Piésold’s environmental scientists have the technical skills to conduct full environmental studies for all types of mines and mining projects, including dam and hydropower projects.

We carry out assessments in line with local legal requirements, as well as international standards set out by lending agencies. Our multidisciplinary approach uses teams from the company’s technical staff supported by experts in specific fields and geographic locations.

Knight Piésold has undertaken detailed studies of the impacts of new projects throughout the world. These have included a number of projects in environmentally sensitive areas requiring special attention to local community values and rare species of flora and fauna.

Our environmental specialists to offer clients an appropriate blend of skills and experience in the following areas of expertise: environmental auditing; environmental impact assessments, environmental monitoring and analysis; public participation; social impact assessments; environmental management plans and programmes. Specific to the mining sector are mine closure plans and environmental rehabilitation plans.

Knight Piésold’s environmental team has significant experience in Water Use Licencing, wetland assessments and aquatic bio-monitoring. KP makes use of external specialists as and when required to complement their team and also uses local personnel for foreign projects as and when required.

Mine closure and reclamation

Our integrated expertise in site and waste characterization, engineering design, risk assessment, cost estimating, and construction management combines to develop appropriate closure plans for new and existing mining operations that are compatible with the surrounding environment.

The scope of services provided covers remediation of infrastructure, waste dumps, rehabilitation, acid drainage mitigation and contaminated land remediation.

Construction management and site supervision

The company offers a wide range of construction and supervision services to the mining industry, including tailings facilities, heap leach pads, slurry and water pipelines, water storage, access and haul roads, materials handling and storage facilities, and other earthworks or water-related works.

Full quality assurance and quality control systems are followed to ensure designs are built according to the specifications and drawings.

About Us

In the mining sector, the name Knight Piésold (KP) has become synonymous with quality civil engineering, environmental science and construction support for mine infrastructure.

Knight Piésold’s mining expertise has been utilised on hundreds of surface and underground mining projects worldwide for all stages of permitting, project development, construction, operation and closure.

The research, design and implementation of pioneering solutions to mining waste management (tailings) and heap leach systems, as well as specialist geotechnical investigations for mine developments, have positioned our company as leaders in these fields.

Projects include gold, platinum, nickel, phosphates, chrome, fluorspar, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, uranium, coal, diamond, graphite, gypsum, ash and heavy mineral sands mines.

As a result, members of the company have extensive capabilities and experience in most aspects of mine infrastructure and can, therefore, offer a full spectrum of services including:

  • Tailings storage and management
  • Heap and dump leach design
  • Waste rock dumps and ore stockpiles
  • Geotechnical services
  • Hydrogeology
  • Water management
  • Environmental management
  • Mine closure and reclamation
  • Construction management and site supervision

Knight Piésold has been active in South Africa, Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Israel.

Adding Value, Delivering Results

Knight Piésold is a global consulting firm that provides specialised services to the mining, power, water resources and infrastructure industries.

Curipamba Project, Ecuador

The Curipamba copper-gold project is planned to be developed as an open-pit mine with an initial mine life of ten years.

Spanish Mountain Gold Project, British Columbia

The Spanish Mountain gold project is an open-pit gold and silver mining development in south-central British Columbia, Canada. It is fully owned by Spanish Mountain Gold, a Canadian gold exploration company.

Seguela Gold Project, Woroba

The Seguela gold project is an open-pit mining development located in the western part of Cote d’Ivoire. Canadian gold miner Roxgold owns a 90% interest in the property, while the remaining 10% is held by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire.

Marathon Palladium-Copper Project, Ontario

The Marathon Palladium-Copper Project is a new open-pit mining development located in the province of Ontario, Canada. Generation Mining owns an 80% interest in the property, while the remaining is held by Stillwater Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sibanye-Stillwater.

Mabilo Copper-Gold Project

The Mabilo copper-gold project is a high-grade copper-gold project located in Camarines Norte Province, Luzon, Philippines.

Coburn Mineral Sands Project

The Coburn mineral sands project is located in the mid-west region of Western Australia. Strandline Resources is developing the heave mineral sands (HMS) project, which is classified as one of the biggest and most advanced undeveloped mineral sands projects in the world.

Cascabel Copper-Gold Project

The Cascabel copper-gold project is a large high-grade copper-gold porphyry exploration mine located in the Cascabel region of northern Ecuador.

Sanbrado Gold Project

The Sanbrado gold project is a high-grade underground and open-pit operation located approximately 90km east-southeast of Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso.

Wahgnion Gold Project

The Wahgnion gold project (formerly Banfora) is a fully permitted, high-grade open-pit gold project located in the southwestern part of Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Matilda Gold Project

The Matilda gold project involves combined development of the Regent, the Matilda and Williamson gold mines, as well as deposits at the brownfield Wiluna mine.

Karma Gold Mine

The Karma Gold Mine is an open-pit mine located 20km east of Ouahigouya and approximately 185km north-west of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

Productora Copper Project

The Productora Copper Project is located approximately 17km south of the regional township of Vallenar, within the coastal range of region III, and approximately 600km north of Santiago, Chile, the world's biggest copper producer.

Zafranal Copper-Gold Project

The Zafranal Copper-Gold Project, covering an area of approximately 32,000ha, is located approximately 80km from Tidewater, 90km from the city of Arequipa, and 150km from the Port of Matarani, in Peru.

Nachu Graphite Project

The Nachu Graphite Project, covering an area of approximately 199km², is located west of the coastal city of Lindi and approximately 200km from the port city of Mtwaram, in south-east Tanzania.

Namoya Gold Mine, Maniema

Namoya open-pit gold mine is located in the Maniema Province of Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mine is situated at the southwestern end of the 210km-long Twangiza-Namoya gold belt, and is owned by Banro Corporation (Banro).

Meliadine Gold Project, Nunavut

The Meliadine Gold Project is located in the Kivalliq District of Nunavut, approximately 25km northwest of Rankin Inlet on the west coast of Hudson Bay, Canada.

Colluli Potash Project, Danakil

The Colluli Potash Project is located within the Danakil region of Eritrea, approximately 177km south-east of the capital city Asmara. The owner and developer of the project is the Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC), a 50:50 joint-venture between Danakali and the Eritrean National Mining Company (ENAMCO).

Marandoo Iron Ore Mine, Pilbara

Marandoo iron ore mine is situated 35km east of Tom Price in the province of Pilbara, in Western Australia. It is 100% owned and operated by Hamersley Iron.

Well Positioned to Soar in 2019

On the back of an 'exceptionally good year' in 2018, 97-year old proudly South African engineering and environmental consulting firm Knight Piésold (SA) is looking to build further on its strong achievements in 2019.

10 June 2019

Mining and Environmental Consulting Pioneers

Environment consulting specialist Knight Piésold is today recognised as the ‘consultant of choice’ in the mining sector – thanks largely to the skills sets and experience it has built up over almost a century.

28 May 2019

Management of Lined Tailings Facilities

The mining industry in South Africa – which extends back more than a century – is grappling with historical legacies that have been put under the spotlight as the world becomes more environmentally conscious and responsible.

13 May 2019

Knight Piésold (Pty) Ltd

4 De La Rey Road
Sandton 2128
South Africa

Knight Piésold – Cape Town

202 The Colosseum, Foyer 1, cnr Century Boulevard & Century Way
Century City
Cape Town 7441
South Africa

Knight Piésold - Durban

2nd Floor, Engen House
171 Roger Sishi Road (Blair Atholl Drive)
Westville North
Durban 3629
South Africa

Knight Piésold - Phalaborwa

Unit No. 8, Tambotie Office Park
Tambotie/Selati Streets
South Africa

Knight Piésold - Pretoria

The Boardwalk Office Park, Office Block 5
Eros Street
Faerie Glen
Pretoria 0081
South Africa

Knight Piésold (Pty) Ltd. - Botswana

Unit B4, Kgale Siding

Knight Piésold (Pty) Ltd. - Namibia - Windhoek

Corner 43 Nelson Mandela and Hugo Hahn Streets
Klein Windhoek

Knight Piésold (Pty) Ltd. - Swaziland

Swaziland Supply Centre
Cnr. Sheffield & Makhosikhosi Roads, Industrial Site
Mbabane, Hhohho

Knight Piésold Zambia Ltd

24 Enos Chomba Avenue


No 8083, Avenue Ditu
Commune Et Ville De Lubumbasi
Quartier Hewa Bora, Province Du Katanga

Namibia - Ondangwa

Brian Simataa Street, Ext. 4
Erf 01545

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