COMSA has successfully completed the topography work and engineering tasks performed over the last two years for the Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation at the Veladero mine, located in the province of San Juan in the Argentinian Andes.
The work has been carried out at an altitude of 4000 to 4850 metres above sea level, which somewhat hindered the project’s execution. In order to deal with these exceptional conditions, different work teams were arranged to work 15 days and rest 13, taking all kinds of precautions to ensure the safety of personnel.
In collaboration with the Argentinian firm Soligor, COMSA has conducted a total of 13 engineering and topography projects over a surface of 1.2 million square metres. Their work focused on materialisation and planimetric measuring of support polygons to control the execution of the works, the determining of ground shifting volumes, the processing of information revealed on the ground and the drafting of reports and as-built plans.
To execute the project, COMSA has made use of a large team of professionals, including land surveyors, CAD technicians, topography equipment operators and field workers. It was also aided by state-of-the-art measuring equipment and pick-up vehicles equipped with suitable survival and communication devices for work in high mountain areas.
The activities performed by COMSA and Soligor have followed the policies and standards of Barrick Gold Corporation at all times, in terms of safety, hygiene in the workplace and respect for the environment. Fourteen critical safety risks were identified and environmental objectives were set every year. These was audited according to ISO standard 14001 and returned the best possible results.
Veladero is an open-pit mine containing gold and silver minerals, with a reserve of 11.4 million ounces and an estimated useful life of 14 years. In 2011, Veladero produced 957,000 ounces of gold.