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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.