Sahara’s team of geotechnical engineers offer a full suite of services to ensure efficiency and safety across the life of your operations. 

We understand the importance geotech plays in the success of your projects, with our expertise spanning across tailings dam management, soil testing, monitoring, and site investigations to eliminate risk.

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Tailings storage facilities are required for every mine site and managing them has always been a challenge.

At Sahara, we have experts that provide assistance through the life stages of your tailings facility (i.e. designing, construction, operation and closure).

Our team develop methodologies to aid in maintaining a safe, optimised and cost-effective facility. Our services include:

  • Site selection and Site investigation
  • Designing, stability analysis and dam break analysis
  • Construction supervision and QAQC
  • Producing an observational method plan
  • Risk assessment report and a monitoring plan
  • Incident control program
  • Checklists for operations and management
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Soil testing is a critical part of geotechnical engineering. Almost all engineering designs and decisions are based on the parameters obtained through testing.

Locating a credible soil laboratory within West Africa has been challenging for many businesses. We can assist by setting up a mobile on-site laboratory where can conduct the following soil tests:

  • Particle size analysis
  • Moisture content determination
  • Atterberg’s limits
  • CU & UU Triaxial Shear strength
  • Direct shear
  • Permeability
  • Oedometer (Consolidation)
  • Emerson class
  • Proctor
  • Chemical tests
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Monitoring devices are a necessity for maintaining a safe mining operation, helping measure pore water pressure and temperature for tailings dams, water storage facilities, and open pits. These devices are good indicators of the level of the phreatic learn, signalling facility managers of any impending dangers.

Sahara’s team of experts have installed, calibrated and commissioned Vibrating Wire Piezometers (VWP) and other monitoring and instrumentation devices for various mining facilities across West Africa. We also provide periodic maintenance and updates for these devices once installed and can assist your procurement and logistics department to acquire the devices from suppliers.

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The main purpose of Cone Penetrometer Testing (CPTu) is to identify subsurface conditions (i.e. classifying soil, detecting layers and measuring strength, determining deformation characteristics and the permeability of foundation soils). This is done mainly for empirical correlations, and also partly on the basis of theoretical outlines.

The CPT is an ideal tool for identifying soil layers, providing data for liquefaction analysis and slope assessment. With our Hyson 100KN CPTu equipment, we can carry out a pore water pressure dissipation test and record the following data:

  • Tip resistance (bearing capacity)
  • Local (sleeve) friction
  • Pore pressure
  • Inclination
  • Speed
  • Shear wave velocity
  • Seismic measurement
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Standard Penetration Testing (SPT) is one of the most common tests in geotechnical investigations to determine the in-situ density and angle of internal shearing resistance for cohesionless soils and strength of cohesive soils.

This is an in-situ subsurface exploration tool used in obtaining data for geotechnical characterisation of soil. This provides penetration resistance, which can be correlated with bearing capacity as well as providing samples for characterisation testing.

Our experienced team are well-equipped to perform these tests for every terrain and engineering application. We also analyse the data to ensure accurate predictions of subsurface characteristics of the project site. Our equipment includes:

  • Atlas Copco Diamec DD rigs with SPT capable of drilling to a depth of 60m of HQ
  • Cortech DD Rigs with SPT capable of drilling to a depth of 200m of HQ
  • Hollow stem auger rigs with SPT capable of drilling to a depth of 20m in subsurface material into transition unit
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In-situ soil testing is essential for gaining soil property information, shear resistance, groundwater measurement, gathering moisture content data and other important parameters. We have well-trained personnel and technicians to undertake various tests. Our services include:

  • Dynamic Cone Penetrometer test
  • Bulk density test
  • Cone Penetrometer test
  • Standard Penetration test
  • Field Vane test
  • Permeability test
  • Groundwater monitoring and measurement (in-situ falling and rising head tests and constant head test)
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Our geotechnical engineers can assist in establishing an understanding of your site through desk study, ground investigation, and provision of remediation strategies.

Based on our findings, we can advise our clients on appropriate and economic solutions for the design phase. With our capabilities in-ground investigation and soil testing, we can facilitate a smooth transition through the phases from the initial desk study to producing an interpretative and factual report.

Learn more about our Geotechnical services
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