El Mochito Mine

Project Highlights:

  • Upstream Cyclone Tailings Dam Design
  • Downstream Earthfill Tailings Dam Designs
  • Geologic Hazards Assessment
  • Detailed Design for Construction
  • As-Built Drawings
  • Emergency Action Plans
  • Operations Plans
  • Risk Analyses
  • CQA
  • Sighting and Alternatives Analyses
  • Hydraulics
  • Liqefaction
  • Water Balance

El Mochito is an underground zinc/silver mine located in the Santa Barbara Mountains in north-central Honduras. Tierra Group’s Team has been providing Tailings Stewardship Services at El Mochito continuously for the past 26 years. Since 1989, Tierra Group engineers have provided engineering consultancy, design, and construction services for three tailings storage facilities (El Bosque, Pozo Azul, and Soledad) to maintain continuous mining operations. Being located in the tropics, tailings management at El Mochito has been fraught with many challenges including; monsoons, floods, karstik terrain, debris flows, constructing with tropical soils (laterite and saprolite), and social unrest. During the full mine life-cycle of three tailings storage facilities, Tierra Group has persevered with the owners and mine management to maintain continual operations with zero lost-time accidents.

Since 2012, Tierra Group has provided EoR support for the Bosque, Pozo Azul, and Soledad TSFs. Tierra Group engineers provided engineering consultancy, design, and construction services to maintain continuous mining operations for three cyclone sand tailings dams (El Bosque, Pozo Azul, and Soledad). Additional EoR support included performance monitoring data acquisition and review, site-specific dam safety inspections, operations, and performance monitoring assessments.

Tailings management at El Mochito has been fraught with challenges: monsoons, floods, karstic terrain, debris flows, construction in tropical soils (laterite and saprolite), and social unrest. Nevertheless, during the entire mine life-cycle of three TSFs, Tierra Group has persevered with the owners and mine management to maintain operations with zero lost-time accidents.

In 2021,Tierra Group provided engineering services for the Soledad TSF Stage 5 raise, including impoundment grading, conventional impoundment lining (with geomembrane), and steep slope impoundment linings (with geomembrane and additional geosynthetic reinforcement).

Tierra Group remains the Engineer of Record for El Mochito, with 2022 and 2023 accomplishments encompassing the Soledad TSF dam raise, involving stability analysis and civil design for an upstream raise to reach an 810-meter crest elevation. Furthermore, Tierra Group sustained its support for monitoring the closure of El Bosque and Pozo Azul TSFs.

Project Highlights:

  • Upstream Cyclone Tailings Dam Design
  • Downstream Earthfill Tailings Dam Designs
  • Geologic Hazards Assessment
  • Detailed Design for Construction
  • As-Built Drawings
  • Emergency Action Plans
  • Operations Plans
  • Risk Analyses
  • CQA
  • Sighting and Alternatives Analyses
  • Hydraulics
  • Liqefaction
  • Water Balance

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