Argyle diamond mine closure planning

Client Name
Argyle Diamond Mine (Rio Tinto)
Western Australia, Australia
  • Mining advisory
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Mine technical services
  • Mine waste engineering


SLR has been providing ongoing design and technical support for the Argyle Diamond Mine since 1998 and in particular, at the main AK1 and alluvial tailings storage facilities (TSF).

Our role increased to include preparation of detailed closure cost estimates for the mine and closure designs for the TSF’s and waste rock dumps.

In 2005, Metago carried out the pre-feasibility and feasibility study designs for a new TSF and the ‘underground development’ at the mine.

Our team assisted on the design of the TSF’s, carrying out ongoing preliminary designs for long term development and closure planning and the detailed geometric, geotechnical, hydrological and hydraulic system designs for the AK1 TSF. This included the TSF reclaim ponds, saddle dams, decant systems, and preparation of operating manuals. In addition we provided ongoing technical support as required.

Ongoing annual auditing was carried out at the AK1 and alluvial TSF’s and all associated infrastructure and site dams. Based off this review, our team provided reccommendations on areas for improvement.

Waste rock dumper closure design reviews were also carried out at existing dump geometry which saw our teams preparing closure optimised designs based on current geometry, required stormwater management and erosion modelling.


The design optimised structurally and environmentally stable waste disposal systems and associated infrastructure to achieve the regulators closure requirements as quickly as possible.