The Twin Domes of Andalucia
When Minas de Aguas Tenidas, S.A.U. (MATSA), needed domes to cover their crushed ore stockpiles in Andalucía, Spain, they turned to Geometrica.
Iberian Minerals Corp. is a Canadian company with mining operations in Peru and Spain. Recently the company revitalized its Minas de Aguas Tenidas property, a Spanish underground mine that had operated in the mid-nineties. They built a new double circuit concentrator, designed to process 1.7 million tons per year of copper, zinc, and lead. Located in Andalucia, the southern region of Spain, just northeast of the Strait of Gibraltar, MATSA is the flagship of the Iberian Minerals Corp.
Iberian Minerals Corp. has a strong commitment to the environment and has developed standards for mines that will ensure minimal impact. MATSA proudly complies with all environmental regulations from local, regional, and the federal government. Geometrica, responding to MATSA call, proposed two domes for the ore storage buildings, each about 60 meters in diameter. The design not only met the needs to contain dust and protect the raw materials from the elements, but it reflected the commitment of the Iberian Minerals Corp. to be environmentally responsible.
Dome Construction System
Geometrica designs, manufactures and builds light-weight structures which provide a unique combination of strength, beauty and constructive flexibility unattainable with other building systems. Geometrica structures are 100% prefabricated, lightweight, easy and quick to assemble, saving time and labor costs. The structures are made of prefabricated galvanized steel tubes connected by slotted aluminum connectors. No welding is required because of the strong mechanical connection between the tubes and connectors. The tubes slip easily into the connectors and parts are secured by steel washers while a threaded rod passes through the connector.
Cladding consisted of panels of corrugated galvanized and painted steel sheets. Parts are individually marked and packed in crates in reverse order for easy assembly. Crates weigh less than three tons so that they can be handled with a forklift or hydraulic rolling jacks. The material for the MATSA domes took up ten 40' containers and was shipped from Geometrica's plant in Mexico, to the mine site in Spain.
The two domes have similar characteristics: 59 meters in diameter, 29 meters high, surface area of 4,900 square meters, and floor area of 2,700 square meters. Each dome had 14,440 tubes and 4,138 connectors and two openings, one for the feeding conveyor ingress and the other for dozers and other heavy machinery.
Installation began with the arrival of the first shipment to the site. The first ring of each structure was placed directly on the 1.7m high ring-shaped foundation. The first dome was installed in 9 weeks and the second in 8 weeks; this time included some adverse weather conditions: 3 degrees below zero, wind gusts up to 60 MPH, rain and ice. Approximately 18 men worked on the project.
Like most of the Geometrica domes, these domes were installed using the assembly method caller "Perimeter-up". Installation begins at the base of the perimeter of the structure on the concrete beam and moves ring by ring toward the apex. The domes were completely installed by Geometrica workers using two manlifts.
A second concrete casting, made directly by MATSA personnel, anchored each dome. Self-tapping screws fix the cladding to the structure. The installation and cladding of the domes complied with the safety measures of MATSA and the current legislation regarding health and safety in Spain, including all OHS requirements.
These domes are the result of the successful alliance between Geometrica and MATSA. The close collaboration between the two companies accomplished the clear vision that was set forth in the beginning. The plant is a world-class example of environmentally conscious mining.
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