Keller performs its first O-pile project in Canada

Keller has completed its first interlocking pipe pile (O-pile) system in Canada at the Alamos Island Gold Mine in Dubreuilville, Ontario.
Keller performs its first O-pile project in Canada Keller performs its first O-pile project in Canada Keller performs its first O-pile project in Canada Keller performs its first O-pile project in Canada Keller performs its first O-pile project in Canada

Keller has completed its first interlocking pipe pile (O-pile) system in Canada at the Alamos Island Gold Mine in Dubreuilville, Ontario

When unexpected ground conditions were encountered at the mine at the proposed site for the expansion of the tailings dam, a 40m (131 ft) long cut-off wall was required.

Various solutions were considered but with several metres of thick sand and gravel till, cobbles, boulders underlaid by bedrock, and flowing water conditions, O-piles were chosen as the preferred solution.

Other benefits of using O-piles include rapid construction using a rotary percussive drilling process in a single pass and a watertight seal using mechanical interlocks. Like sheet piles, the O-pile system creates a cut-off wall and can be used for excavation support. However, while sheet piles would refuse to drive through rock and boulders, a down-the-hole hammer is used to advance the O-pile through these conditions.

Keller crews installed 68 O-piles with lengths varying from 5m (16.4ft) to 11m (36.08ft) as required. O-piles were 610mm (2ft) in diameter.

Project manager Anojan Siva said: "We were involved early on in the process to explain the pros and cons of several potential cut-off wall techniques. We were able to discuss and resolve anticipated constructability challenges, technical considerations, and address the time-sensitive requirements for this critical project."

During construction, Keller provided high calibre experienced personnel working six days a week for six weeks. "We were able to provide a high-quality solution using a pile guide/template to ensure pile location and verticality; and performed continuous inspection and monitoring of all activities," Siva said. The project was completed on schedule and Keller has already planned future projects using O-pile technology.

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