M3 is responsible for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) for the Escobal Project in Guatemala, 70 kilometers east-southeast of Guatemala City and two kilometers east of the picturesque town of San Rafael Las Flores. The ore, mined by underground methods, is processed at 4,500 metric tons per day using conventional crushing-grinding and froth flotation.
Several unique site challenges include high seismic activity and high seasonal rainfall. The site is covered with a 12 meter thick, low density pumice ash layer. M3 designed and constructed an 11 cubic meter per second fabric formed concrete channel to divert gradient storm water, prior to commencing major earth movement and concrete works.
The Dry Stack Tailings Facility is projected to be 100 meters high and includes a foundation key with ground water controls to promote stability. As each tailing outslope lift is completed, the slope is concurrently reclaimed by placing salvaged topsoil and seeding with a native seed mix, such as coffee, to blend in with the agricultural surroundings and provide a tangible long term benefit to the local community.
Located in a very compact footprint and in a narrow valley, M3 designed Escobal to maximize work flow and efficiency while minimizing the disturbance to the surrounding terrain, further reducing reclamation and closure costs. M3 continues to provide innovative and cost effective solutions to these challenges.