The Terracon Advantage
The industry require service companies that can reliably respond to the ever-changing environment and their operational and compliance needs. Terracon has grown to be one of the largest providers of geotechnical field services in Alberta by developing a strong resource base of qualified professionals and technologists and technicians.
In addition, we apply our agile size and ownership structure to our clients’ advantage. Being privately owned and operated allows us the autonomy to be very flexible. This allows us to accommodate our client’s changing needs in a timely and efficient manner. We strive to meet service levels in which a client feels like they can call upon us in the same manner they call upon their employees. We work hard to be thought of as a member of your team.
Our Consulting & Field Expertise
Terracon has deep operational field expertise in both QA/QC field construction monitoring and geotechnical instrumentation monitoring. From our testing facilities in Fort McMurray and Calgary in addition to our mobile lab capabilities we also provide a wide variety of soil and concrete testing, from soil identification to tailings characterization our fully functioning Soils and Concrete Laboratory can handle the job.
Through our offices in Fort McMurray and Calgary we offer consulting services that leverage our field service expertise. Our consulting services draw upon our extensive knowledge of seeing what “works” and doesn’t “work” in the field. It is through our “built from the ground up” philosophy that our geology, geotechnical engineering, mines and tailing engineering and environmental solutions differ from other firms. In short, we know what works on the proverbial drawing board because we have spent three decades living the experience in the field.
Groundwater and Hydrology
Mine and Tailings Engineering
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- Oil Sands Lease Evaluation
- Surficial and Quaternary Geology
- Granular Resources Investigations
- Core Logging/Description
- Drilling Program Management
- Geological Modeling
- Reporting (National Instrument, ERCB)
- Data Management, Mapping, Interpretation (legacy and current data).
Resource development and construction of industrial facilities consistent with environmental awareness, requires a comprehensive understanding of site geological conditions. Our geological investigations range from “stand alone” programs such as grass roots exploration and lease evaluation to “support role” programs for engineering design and environmental studies.Our investigative techniques encompass proven innovative subsurface sampling methods, in-situ testing, remote sensing, geochemistry, and surface and borehole geophysics. Strict sampling protocols, and Quality Assurance and Quality Control Programs are tailored to the conditions and objectives of each project. Our geological interpretive techniques utilize recognized methods in stratigraphic and structural geology, as well as appropriate mathematical tools and mapping software.
Groundwater and Hydrology
- Mine Depressurization
- Seepage Analysis (dykes)
- Groundwater Quantity (hydrogeological data and interpretation, resource evaluation)
- Groundwater Quality (instrumentation, testing, interpretation, modeling, reporting)
- Drain and Filter Design
- Pump Test and Groundwater 3D modeling
The formulation and execution of groundwater resource projects require experience and good judgment in several necessary disciplines including hydrogeology, hydro-geochemistry and fluid flow. Terracon’s professional staff possesses a broad experience base in defining natural water systems in support of project development for mines, industrial plants and recreational facilities. Our staff is supported by appropriate resources for field tasks as well as current software for database construction, pump test analysis, flow modeling and interpretation. Complex geological settings have been modeled.
Groundwater studies have generally been focused on several objectives: groundwater supply, dewatering or depressurization for excavations; groundwater containment flow; and seepage analysis for design of sludge and liquid containment structures. Investigations have included aquifer characterization and flow modeling, seepage analysis, well designs, sustainable yield estimates, drainage designs and containment assessment and remediation.
Surface hydrology studies have involved water balance definition for specific basins. Studies have been completed to ascertain selected parameters such as infiltration rates, base flows, flood stages, flood frequency analysis and river bed scour depths. These studies have supported surface mine drainage control designs, EIA’s, groundwater modeling, pipeline river crossing remediation works, culvert installation designs and channel erosion works.
- Geotechnical Site Investigations (foundations, infrastructure, access roads)
- Slope Stability Assessments (earth structures, open pit mines)
- Foundation Engineering
- Earth Fill Suitability Studies
- Construction QA/QC
- Mine Dewatering Design
- Ground Improvement Techniques
- Instrumentation and Monitoring Programs
- Retaining Wall Design
- Mine Drainage
Our project teams work closely with the client to ensure that the geotechnical effort is coordinated with related engineering programs. Careful data scrutiny coupled with analysis, interpretation and extrapolation of the data ensure that a consistently high quality of work is maintained. Extensive project experience is always reflected in our approach to data collection, testing, modeling analysis, and design.
- Environmental Site Assessments (Phase I, II and III)
- Groundwater Well Installation, Monitoring and Reporting
- Stormwater Pond Design and Construction
- Soil and Groundwater Remediation
- Regulatory Reporting (remedial action plans, monitoring)
- Permit Applications
- Reclamation Monitoring
Terracon draws upon a wealth of expertise and project management expertise to provide the client with thorough and timely strategies to attain compliance for continued operations, property transfer and decommissioning. Appropriate sampling and analysis, QA/QC programs, and site specific Health and Safety Plans are incorporated into every project.
The engineers and geologists of Terracon’s environmental group have a broad experience base in environmental audits, compliance studies, groundwater modeling, soil and groundwater characterization and remediation system design, permitting, installation and operation.
Mine & Tailings Engineering
- Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility Studies
- Development Planning
- Tailings Management (site selection, geotechnical investigations)
- Regulatory Reporting (data collection, interpretation and reporting)
Terracon’s mine development capabilities include pre-feasibility, feasibility and engineering studies. Mining method selection, mine layouts, ore/waste schedules, ore transport and blending, capital and operating cost estimates, manpower, power distribution and infrastructure have formed the basis for these studies. Physical elements such as operating and ultimate slopes, mine dewatering, ore blending systems, waste dumps and tailings facilities are defined to appropriate detail in light of their influence on costs. Economic sensitivities to capital requirements, ore reserves, commodity prices, royalties, fuel costs, transportation costs and environmental liabilities are demonstrated. In addition to financial optimization, sensitivity studies also identify key data deficiencies prior to project commitment.
Engineering investigations have been undertaken for the energy, metal and industrial mineral sectors. Mine planning studies have encompassed several mining methods including, truck and shovel, draglines, and continuous mining systems such as bucket wheel excavators and cutter dredges. Tailings facilities have been designed for small volume impoundment structures capable of handling waste from pilot plants to very large structures with capacities of millions of cubic metres of waste per year. Optimum design of these facilities demands strict controls on costs, embankment safety and ultimate reclamation.
OPERATIONAL FIELD SERVICES
GEOTECHNICAL INSTRUMENTATION MONITORING
SOIL & CONCRETE TESTING
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QA/QC Construction Field Monitoring
Terracon’s construction field monitoring services directly support field construction activities and help ensure construction practices comply with design parameters. Specific services include:
- Monitoring lift thickness, test fill densities, material type and properties
- Approving base preparation prior to placements of any fills and approving clean-up of surfaces prior to fill placement
- Sample materials and submit for testing, as required
- Test pit monitoring and sampling
- QC project coordination
- Preparation of daily construction reports
We have extensive experience in the following areas:
- Earth structures
- Concrete/grout/fillcrete sampling and testing
- Rebar inspection
- Concrete coring
- Driven/screw/cast-in-place piling installation
Geotechnical Instrumentation Installation and Monitoring
Terracon has been installing and monitoring geotechnical instrumentation for over 20 years, including:
- Slope Inclinometers
- Vibrating wire piezometers
- Pneumatic piezometers
- Standpipe piezometers
- Off take drains
Slope inclinometers monitoring is undertaken to identify any earth movement at the mining face for open pit mining to ensure the safety of draglines, electric shovels, hydraulic shovels, all support equipment and personnel in the area. It is also being monitored to ensure the stability of structures such as tailings pond earth containment dams, slopes and large overburden storage facilities.
Piezometers are utilized to monitor the groundwater pressures and to identify fluctuations which might result in a stability issue or identify a geotechnical risk. Off take drains are monitored to ensure the filters within a structure are behaving effectively and responding to increased groundwater movement through structures such as water containment dykes.
Thermistors are monitored to ensure temperatures below the surface remain within acceptable ranges and expectations.
Soils and Concrete Testing Laboratory
Terracon Geotechnique Ltd. has a state of the art Soils and Concrete Laboratory that provides the following services:
- Soil Identification
- Organic Content of Soils
- Geotechnical Index Testing of Soils
- Concrete Strength Testing
- Wet Soil Resistivity Testing
- Air Entrainment Testing
- Aggregate Testing
- Tailings Characterization
- Coke Analysis
CCIL certified in the following:
Aggregate Quality Control Laboratory Type C for ASTM tests C702, C117, C136, C5821
Aggregate Physical Property Laboratory Type D for ASTM tests C127,C128,D698,D1557, D4318, D2434, D422, D854.