Yanacocha Project

Yanacocha Project

Yanacocha Project


  • Heap Leach Facilities (more than 10 million m2 designed and constructed)
  • Tailings Storage Facility (within an active heap leach pad, a first in the world)
  • Ponds (Water ponds, Solution and Process ponds)
  • Access Roads, channels  and Haul Roads
  • Topsoil and Unsuitable Stockpiles
  • Waste Dumps
  • Construction Management and Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC)
  • Geotechnical Engineering support
  • Geological and Geotechnical Investigations
  • Hydrological Studies
  • Water Balance and Water Management
  • Soil Laboratory and In-situ Testing
  • Permitting Support
  • Closure Design

Client:  Minera Yanacocha S.R.L. (Newmont Mining and Minas Buenaventura)

Location:  Cajamarca, Peru

Completion Date:  Ongoing (since 1994)

Project Description:  The Yanacocha mine is the largest gold producer in Latin America and is composed of four operations (Cerro Yanacocha, La Quinua, Carachugo and Maqui Maqui) interconnecting several heap leach pads and associated ponds.  The mine includes also a tailings storage facility, waste rock dumps, stockpiles, process plants, treatment plants, reservoirs, sediment ponds, and several other facilities.  

Knight Piésold’s Role: Knight Piésold has worked with Yanacocha since the mine inception and during the last 14 years of operation, Knight Piésold has designed all heap leach pads and associated structures including ponds, access roads and channels amongst others.  We have also provided extensive civil and geotechnical design for major infrastructures, technical support to the design of waste rock facilities (internally designed by Yanacocha), provided water management technical support including revisions to the process water balance, as well as support in issues arising with water management.

Throughout the development of the mine, Knight Piésold has provided services that go from conceptual to final designs, including construction management, quality control/quality assurance, support during permitting processes and operational support.

The designs developed for Yanacocha during all these years include some of the most innovative, cost-effective, and environmentally sound designs in the industry, including a tailings storage facility which is the first of its kind in the world to be fully contained within and active heap leach pad and a leach pad located on top of a 100 m waste dump amongst other structures.