Publications

Engineering Excellent Design: Innovative Designs Awarded at Kokish River Power Project

Publication: International Water Power & Dam Construction
Issue: December 2015

Knight Piésold recently received an award for engineering excellence from the Association of Canadian Consulting Engineers for the detailed design and construction supervision of the Kokish River hydroelectric project. The award was in recognition of the project’s unique solutions and innovative designs that cater to the sensitive environmental attributes of the site, primarily on the presence of steelhead trout and salmon throughout the diversion reach.

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Award of Excellence: Kokish River Hydroelectric Project

Publication: Canadian Consulting Engineer
Issue: October/November 2015
Issue Title: 2015 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

The Kokish River Hydroelectric Project is a 45 MW run-of-river facility 15 km east of Port McNeill, on the north of Vancouver Island, B.C. Every step during the development process took into consideration the diversity of fish habitats in Kokish River. The project has unique and innovative details throughout the diversion reach designed to cater to this sensitive environment, and in particular the presence of steelhead trout and salmon.

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Tailings Mobilization Estimates for Dam Breach Studies

Author: Daniel Fontaine, P.Eng., Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015

Quantitative assessment of potential consequences caused by a flood from a dam breach of a tailings facility requires an estimate of the volume of water and tailings released during the breach. A methodology for estimating the volume of tailings mobilized by the free water stored in the pond and the resulting initial flood wave following a dam breach is presented.

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Combined Tailings and Mine Waste

Author: Bryan Ulrich, Jeff Coffin
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015

The benefits of combining tailings and mine waste in a relatively homogenous manner, in which tailings just fill the voids between the waste rock particles while the waste rock maintains particle-to-particle contact, has been the subject of study over the course of several years. Such a combination of materials could be used for a closure cover or as a singular large-scale facility to store both mine waste products.

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Challenges with Conducting Tailings Dam Breach Studies

Author: Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng., Daniel Fontaine, P.Eng., Jaime Cathcart, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015

Engineering practitioners currently use a combination of guidance documents, published papers, and professional experience to support tailings dam breach and inundation studies. There is considerable knowledge and information available in this relatively new field of practice, but standardized and comprehensive guidelines specific to tailings dams are not available.

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Assessing Credible Modes of Failure: Afton TSF Dam Breach Study

Author: Anna Akkerman, P.Eng., Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015

The Afton Tailings Storage Facility is located in the semi-arid Interior Region of British Columbia and has been in care and maintenance since 1997, after approximately 20 years of operation. In response to the British Columbia Chief Mine Inspector’s orders issued in August 2014, following a dam breach incident at the Mount Polley Mine, dam breach analysis and inundation studies for the Afton Tailings Storage Facility were conducted.

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Predicted Changes in Peace River Channel Morphology and Sediment Transport Related to the Site C Clean Energy Project

Author: Craig Nistor, P.Geo., Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Canadian Hydrotechnical Conference 2015
Date: April 29-May 2, 2015

The Site C Clean Energy Project is a third dam and 1100 MW hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. BC Hydro plans to start construction in the summer of 2015. This paper presents the predicted changes in channel morphology and suspended sediment dynamics during Project operations that were described in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Project.

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Hydrodynamic Modelling of Intakes for Run-of-River Hydroelectric Projects

Author: Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Canadian Hydrotechnical Conference 2015
Date: April 29-May 2, 2015

Run-of-river, diversion-type hydroelectric projects on steep mountainous streams create changes in environmental conditions, including modified hydraulic and sediment transport conditions in the headpond upstream of the flow diversion intake and in the diversion section of the stream between the intake and the tailrace. These types of changes can lead to environmental and operational challenges that require careful consideration at the project design stage in order to achieve a successful, sustainable project.

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Northern Mineral Development: We All Need to Have Skin in the Game

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: February 2015
Issue Title: Circumpolar Mining 2015

All stakeholders involved in northern mineral development have a role to play in positively advancing an industry that represents an opportunity for socio-economic development. Mining has the potential to bring self-sufficiency to the North; empower people with education, training, and employment; increase territorial revenues; and support infrastructure development.

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Heap Leach Pads--The Importance of Proper Testing, Interpretation, and Analysis of Soil Liner Geomembrane Interfaces

Author: Guillermo Barreda, Luis Chahua
Conference: Heap Leach Solutions 2014
Date: November 10-13, 2014

The design of heap leach pads involves a variety of components. One of the main components for these structures is the leach pad liner system, where a low-permeability soil is normally used in combination with a geomembrane to reduce seepage losses. Although this combination of materials has been shown to effectively reduce rates of infiltration, the soil liner-geomembrane interface presents a challenge to designers since it incorporates a “weak layer” into the system.

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A Practical Method for Extrapolating Ambient Pore Pressures from Incomplete Pore Pressure Dissipation Tests Conducted in Fine Grained Soils

Author: Jordan Scheremeta, M.S., E.I.
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2014
Date: October 5-8, 2014

The estimation of ambient pore water pressures in an existing soil stratum for use in developing appropriate pore pressure distributions for input to various geotechnical engineering analyses often presents the engineer with challenges in locations devoid of sufficient piezometer coverage.

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Casino Project: Interactive Design of A Large Tailings Dam to Achieve Mine Waste Mangement Objectives

Author: Sanne Brinkman, Graham Greenaway, P.Eng.
Conference: CDA Annual Conference 2014
Date: October 4-9, 2014

The Casino Project is a proposed copper-gold-molybdenum mine in the southwest Yukon. The deposit will be mined using open pit methods with a nominal mill throughput of approximately 125,000 tonnes per day of ore over a 22 year operating life. The climate at the project site is characterised by long, cold, dry winters and short, warm, wet summers. Permafrost is discontinuous over the Tailings Management Facility embankment area.

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Interview with Sam Mottram, Managing Principal, Power Services

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: October 2014
Issue Title: British Columbia Power 2014

It has been nearly three decades since BC Hydro has undertaken a large-scale project. Does it have the in-house expertise to undertake Site C?

BC Hydro no longer has large, in-house expertise, which is why they have hired external consultants to help them. A number of consultants have been involved in the 1,100-MW Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C) in various capacities. Knight Piésold is involved in assessing the downstream impacts of Site C.

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Investigation of Sediment Transport Through a Run-of-River Hydroelectric Project

Author: Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng., Michael Pullinger, M.Sc., P.Eng., Alana Shewan, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Nathan Smith, P.Eng.
Conference: HydroVision International 2014
Date: July 22-25, 2014

A 25 MW run-of-river hydroelectric project is proposed in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Baseline studies identified that the bedload sediment transport rate in the project area is relatively low, and consequently, interruption of bed material replenishment in the reaches downstream of the intake represents an environmental concern.

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Design and Construction of the 45 MW Kokish River Hydroelectric Project in British Columbia, Canada

Author: Egbert J. Scherman, P.Eng., Sam R. Mottram, P.Eng.
Conference: HydroVision International 2014
Date: July 22-25, 2014

This presentation will cover the design innovations and lessons learned from the detailed design and construction of the Kokish River Hydroelectric Project recently constructed in the northern part of Vancouver Island located in British Columbia, Canada. This hydroelectric facility is a private sector development by Kwagis Power, a limited partnership of Brookfield Renewable Energy Group and the ‘Namgis First Nation that was awarded an energy purchase agreement by BC Hydro in an open call for clean energy.

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Can Modular Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) be Economically Feasible in the United Sates?

Author: Boualem Hadjerioua, Norm Bishop, Patrick O'Connor, Rocío Uría-Martínez, Scott DeNeale
Conference: HydroVision International 2014
Date: July 22-25, 2014

To date, the vast majority of global and domestic Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) development has focused on the construction of large (generally greater than 300MW), site-customized plants. The viability of alternative design paradigms for PSH technologies has been actively discussed in industry and the research community, but no reliable determinations on the viability of these concepts have been made. Of particular interest is the development of smaller, distributed PSH systems incorporating elements of modular design to drive down cost and increase the ease of implementation.

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Roundtable Discussion on Innovations in Heap Leaching and Mine Waste Management

Conference: Elko Roundtable 2014
Date: March 20, 2014

On March 20, 2014, the "Roundtable Discussion on Innovations in Heap Leaching and Mine Waste Management" was hosted by Knight Piésold and Co. at the Red Lion Hotel in Elko, NV.

This topic is timely, and formed something of a lead into the inaugural "Workshop on Innovations in Waste Rock, Tails and Heap Leach Management." That workshop, which grew from the 2013 Elko Roundtable, was held on the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) campus on May 19, 2014.

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Integrating Engineering & Environmental Concepts for Mine Development

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: March 2014
Issue Title: British Columbia Mining & Vancouver: The World's Mining Barometer 2014

Designers of modern-day mines must consider and incorporate nearly endless aspects of a project so that it is technically, economically, environmentally and socially balanced. Technical and economic feasibility continue to be the key drivers behind development decisions. However, environmental and social considerations are growing in their influence on both the design and ultimately the decision to move a project past concept and into construction and operation.

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Hydropower the Key to Northern Development

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: November 2012
Issue Title: Territories Mining and Exploration 2012

One thing everyone can agree on is the need for a reliable source of energy for any form of existence in the Canadian north. With the extreme cold and shortage of sunlight hours throughout the winter, energy for heating and light is of paramount importance. This becomes even more important for any form of mining venture where there are large power requirements to run the mine.

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