When Minas de Aguas Tenidas, S.A.U. (MATSA), in Spain, needed domes to cover their crushed ore stockpiles they turned to Geometrica.

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The Geometrica System

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Purlins provide a continuous surface

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Installation from the ground-up

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Dome closure

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Installation of Cladding


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Second dome is built


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Customer Needs

Iberian Minerals Corp. is a Canadian company with mining operations in Peru and Spain. Recently the company decided to revitalize Minas de Aguas Tenidas, a Spanish underground mine that had operated in the mid-nineties. They decided to construct a new double circuit concentrator, designed to process 1.7 million tons per year of copper, zinc, and lead. Today, MATSA is the flagship of the Iberian Minerals Corp. It is located in Andalucia, the southern region of Spain, just northeast of the Strait of Gibraltar. Opening in late 2008, it has been fully operational since October 2009.

The 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, aware of the needs and requirements of MATSA, proposed two domes for the 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.

System Benefits

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, thereby representing savings in time and labor costs for projects. The structures were built of prefabricated galvanized steel tubes connected by slotted aluminum connectors. No welding was required because of the strong mechanical connection between the tubes and connectors. It was also aesthetically pleasing. The tubes slipped easily into the connectors and parts were secured by steel washers while a threaded stud passed through the connector.

To compensate for the wide ends of the tubes and provide a flat surface for affixing the siding, the siding was put on the outside of the tubes as shown in the picture. Like the pipes, the sidings were prefabricated for the design of the domes. The galvanized steel square tubes were fastened to the structural elements with self-drilling screws. The coating consisted of panels of corrugated galvanized steel sheets. The other components included trim and gutters. Geometrica domes are always galvanized, which eliminates the maintenance needed for painted steel structures. As with all Geometrica structures, the parts are individually marked and packed in boxes in reverse order for easy assembly. The crates weighted less than three tons and could easily be handled with a forklift or hydraulic roller.

Installation

The two domes erected, called North and South, have similar characteristics: 58.5 meters in diameter, 28.9 meters high, covering a surface area of 4,890 square meters, and a floor area of 2,700 square meters each. To reach such a size, 14,440 tubes were used together with 4,138 connectors, in perfect balance to achieve the required mechanical bond to withstand the ravages of wind. Each one was built with two openings: one for input from the conveyor and the other to allow a manned-vehicle for cleaning and maintenance.

On the outside, each dome was galvanized and coated with a polyester finish in cream color. The coated structure was assembled and placed on a ring-shaped foundation 1.7 meters high. The material was sent in ten 40' containers in 3 different shipments. However, the installation began with the arrival of the first shipment to the site. The ease of installation that Geometrica offers was another incentive for MATSA. 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. All personnel who participated in the installation of the domes were trained dome craftsmen. Note: This is the first project that BSI audited for Geometrica's ISO certification.

The domes were assembled incrementally. As a dome moved toward the apex, two platform lifts were used. Lights were mounted and spider sub-assemblies (consists of a connector and three tubes) were completed, always following the appropriate safety and security measures. A second concrete casting, made directly by MATSA personnel, anchored each dome. Self-tapping screws were used for the installation of the siding and cladding. 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. During the installation of the domes, a third party occupational risk specialist approved the procedures and provided advice and support.

Conclusion

These domes are the result of the successful alliance between Geometrica and MATSA. The close collaboration between the two and the valuable experience of the Geometrica staff working in Spain accomplished the clear vision that was set forth in the beginning. Geometrica structures represent the best choice in the marketplace for companies looking for a solution to the problem of storing materials, with easy installation; without sacrificing quality, safety, strength, and aesthetics; and maintaining the company's commitment to the environment.

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