Diavik Dike Foundation Preparation

Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc.
Diavik Mine, NT

To develop and build an open pit mine, Diavik Diamond Mine (located approximately 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife), required a 2.2 km dike be constructed and the water pumped out. In preparation for building the dike, JJM Construction Ltd. removed and disposed of soft lakebed sediments within the dike footprint and prepared the foundation for dike construction.

Sediment and boulders were removed using clamshell dredging and cutter suction dredging methodologies. The cutter suction disposal site required 3 booster pumps to deliver the dredgeate 5 km from the dredge site. JJM installed a filter blanket – a 1.1 metre thick layer of 50 mm minus graded crushed rock on the dredged surface – as well as installation of stability buttresses in areas of adverse lakebed bathymetry, in preparation for the embankment placement. JJM also installated and maintained an owner-supplied turbidity curtain that protects Lac de Gras from sediment dispersal from the project site.

The project presented significant logistical challenges, since transportation of construction equipment and materials could only be done via ice road hauling in the late winter. Working with the team at Diavik, JJM mobilized 4 sectional flat barges, 3 hopper barges, 3 tug boats, 2 crawler cranes (175 ton capacity), a cutter suction dredge unit with 3 booster pumps, 3 survey/work boats, a Hitachi EX1200 excavator, a service truck, and multiple container loads of spare parts, small tools and consumables to the project site.

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