As part of a joint venture, AECOM provided a full range of project management and engineering design resources for Argyle Diamonds Limited’s Underground Expansion Project, in Western Australia.

For the mine to continue as a viable operation, it was necessary to provide ore to replace the open pit.  A feasibility study was completed for an underground block caving operation beneath the existing pit access to the underground via two declines, one of which accommodates the conveyer system.

Mine dewatering presented a unique challenge for the project team. Because of its location in the cyclone belt, the site was subject to very high seasonal rainfall entering the underground mine via the open pit.

The combined experience of the joint venture contributed to developing strategies to handle the high volumes of water while maintaining acceptable capital costs for the underground pumping infrastructure.