The environmental perception of tailings and mine waste storage is a key challenge facing the industry after recent catastrophic dam failures around the world. The industry is now implementing higher engineering controls for containment and improved monitoring of waste storages. Geofabrics provides tailings liner and capping solutions that provide higher environmental protections over traditional seepage dams. Our drainage and dewatering solutions provide economic benefits in terms of water re-use and storage volumes, and we offer techniques to repurpose tailings waste.
EXPLORE THE SOLUTIONS ON THIS PAGE
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LINING TAILINGS, WASTE AND WATER STORAGES
LINING TAILINGS, WASTE AND STORAGES
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Road and Rail drainage
CAPPING TAILINGS DAMS AND PITS
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Lining Evaporation
LINING EVAPORATION AND PROCESS PONDS
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Tailing and Waste Drainage
TAILINGS AND WASTE DRAINAGE
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Tailings Treatment System
TAILINGS TREATMENT SYSTEMS
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Tailings Embankment
TAILINGS EMBANKMENT REINFORCEMENT
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Tailings Erosion Protection
TAILINGS EROSION PROTECTION
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Access of Cappings of Tailing Dams
ACCESS TO CAPPINGS OF TAILINGS DAMS, PITS AND WASTE
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Drainage and Dewatering of Tailings
DRAINAGE AND DEWATERING OF TAILINGS AND WASTE CAPPINGS
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Revegetation of Final Waste Landforms
REVEGETATION OF FINAL WASTE LANDFORMS CAPPING

Geofabrics Expertise in Tailings and Waste

The containment and rehabilitation of waste generated by the mining process is the single largest environmental challenge facing the industry. In traditional civil engineering applications, Geosynthetics are used extensively to line and cap contaminants, to improve drainage, and to dewater solids from sludges. The same design techniques applied to landfill and contaminated land can be applied to mine storages, but new challenges in mining require critical design analysis.

The key challenges are waste streams that contain elevated contaminant levels at higher temperatures, deep storages result in high stresses, and processing results in the containment of very fine sludges. These environmental factors are well documented as reducing Geosynthetic product design life and cause potential loss of engineering performance.

Our developing new technologies facilitate ongoing monitoring solutions and alternatives to traditional TSF design, and we have key technical capability and history to enable the most cost effective pit and tailings closure rehabilitation.

The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory is a necessary partner in this space, with a key advantage of Geosynthetics the ability to pre-qualify them with performance testing, and impart lifetime predictions. Tailings and Waste storages on mines observe design conditions of elevated stresses, temperatures and exposure conditions not seen in traditional civil engineering. Coupled with liquors that contain elevated chemistry properties, the durability of the Geosynthetic poses a key regulatory question, which the GRID laboratory has been demonstrating through testing for the past decade.

 

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LINING TAILINGS, WASTE AND WATER STORAGES

LINING TAILINGS AND WASTE STORAGES

The Geofabrics team has a 30 year history of lining tailings, waste residue and process water dams. The choice of lining system will depend on the liquor chemistry and temperature, as well as the site stresses and properties of surrounding soils. The first lining option reviewed is always a Polymeric Geomembrane and Geofabrics has a range of options to suit your site chemistry. An Elcoseal Geosynthetic Clay Liner can be used as a composite layer or as a stand alone option if conditions allow. For specific function, the option of a Bituminous Geomembrane could be utilized but for a GCL or BGM it is critical that site performance criteria are established.

A Geocomposite or Megaflo Panel Drainage system is utilized to alleviate heads acting on the liner, and when designed for the site stresses will maximise water recoveries and improve tailings stability.
The design process will begin with a desktop analysis of the site liquors and site conditions, a review of historic data and then a proposed testing regime and product solution. Product testing at our GRID Laboratory is critical to demonstrate that the chosen Geosynthetic Lining solution is compatible to the environmental exposure risks, that the drainage system can function under the loads applied, and the geotextile filter performs with the fine tailings or waste stream.

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Featured Products

Polymeric Geomembranes

Geofabrics has access to premium Geomembranes sourced from around the world. From commonly specified High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Geomembranes to select polymer liners to meet specific waste chemistry from Cooley Group. Solutions must be designed specifically to the chemistry of the liquor to be detained, meet the project stress conditions and ensure that atmospheric exposure (UV, Temperature) does not compromise the liner design life. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has the testing capability to establish specific site liner criteria and has a decade worth of data in this field.

Elcoseal Geosynthetic Clay Liners

Elcoseal Geosynthetic Clay Liners (GCLs) are hydraulic barriers that consist of a thin layer of high quality bentonite sandwiched between two or more Geotextiles. These present both as single liners and composite liners in conjunction with Geomembranes to line and cap tailings dams, pits and other waste storages. The challenge is the vast differences between world bentonite sources that need to be designed to ensure compatibility with the tailings liquor. There is also a critical need to establish chemical compatibility of the Geotextile components that provide both GCL internal and external shear strength to survive site stresses.

The critical aspect when specifying GCLs is the internal and external shear properties determined by the Geotextile configuration, and properties of the bentonite to provide the hydraulic barrier. Geofabrics has a range of options that link to interface shear testing and hydraulic testing with a range of liquors at the GRID laboratory.

Bituminous Geomembranes

Teranap's bituminous geomembranes (BGMs) are a reliable waterproofing system engineered to suit challenging site conditions that compromise other liner options. Teranap has unique mechanical properties that have high robustness to survive challenging subgrades and cover soils, and overcome site conditions that would be detrimental to other liners.
Teranap uses a modified form of bitumen with a high level of chemical resistance and useable temperature range, while keeping its natural waterproofing qualities. The Geofabrics GRID laboratory can analyse damage factors, chemical compatibility and friction properties to ensure the BGM is compatible to your site

Protection and Filter Geotextiles  - Geofabrics bidim or Texcel

A Geotextile is used to either serve a protection function for the Geomembrane Lining system, or serve a critical filter function when placed in direct contact with the waste or tailings. The selection of the Geotextile begins with choosing the polymer that meets your site chemistry, primarily Polyester or Polypropylene. PET and PP sources however, are varied in terms of their additive packages, so for applications of extreme pH or extended UV exposure it is critical that the right product is established through direct testing at the Geofabrics GRID laboratory.

In terms of Cushion Geotextile function, the bidim nonwoven geotextiles have a three-dimensional structure that provides maximum protection function per mass, so will always be the first choice for Geomembrane protection to maximise costs. The Texcel Range of Staple Fibre Geotextiles made from either Polyester or Polypropylene are designed for specific polymer, exposure or stress conditions. The critical design criteria can be established through the Geofabrics GRID Laboratory, that has a decade of analysing Protection Geotextiles over Geomembranes to demonstrate technical performance and maximise bang for buck for the Geotextile selected.

Geotextile Filters are critical to maximise drainage performance, and the correct type can provide numerous benefits to waste and tailings dams. The design aim is to choose a Geotextile that has the right structure and pore size to maximise both water through flow and solids retention. A well-designed filter geotextile prevents clogging of drainage aggregate or more critical Geonets, increases dam capacity by removing increased water and improves tailings stability. It also allows maximum recovery of dam water for re-use onsite which is becoming a critical part of the mines Social Licence obligations.
The choice of Geotextile will begin with polymer compatibility and can be subjected to desktop filter design. The key cost saving opportunity is presented by the Geofabrics GRID Laboratory which has 10 years of testing and data with mine sludges, to achieve maximum filter and subsequent drainage performance.

Drainage Geocomposites, Geofabrics Megaflo and bidim C Leak Detection

A Drainage Geocomposite can be used to capture groundwater volumes below the lining system, and drain tailings liquor heads acting on the basal lining system. The choice of Geonet is critical due to the high stresses in tailings applications and waste dams, and will depend on the load condition and flow volume required. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has a designated Transmissivity Test rig to test Geonets under project stresses and has written key technical papers in this space. In conjunction with the Geonet, the selection of Filter Geotextile must be critically designed and tested to establish maximum through flow and ensure maximum solids retention to prevent clogging of fine particles into the Geonet system.

Geofabrics Megaflo® flat drainage pipe provide high crush strength conduits capture both groundwater below the lining system and function as the primary tailings drainage system. The advantage of the flat panel system is that it requires shallow subgrade trenches for groundwater capture, but also can be installed directly onto the liner to enable maximum drainage performance. 

Megaflo® is an excellent drainage system, removing water from your structure faster than any other drainage system. The shape and structure of Megaflo® provides a high crush resistance in aggregate whether the drainage system is used vertically or horizontally. Megaflo® Ultra, is a very high strength Megaflo® product, designed for use under excessive loads, such as very deep tailings dams. Megaflo®Ultra is supported by FEA modelling to demonstrate it can withstand applied loads of beyond 1000kPa when used in conjunction with the right drainage aggregate.

For design of Polymeric Geomembranes, the leakage rate is designed based on the amount of holes per Hectare. As a result, the detection of holes is critical to understand long term leak performance of the liner. Geofabrics bidim C Range nonwoven geotextile is the World’s first commercial conductive geotextile made possible with imgne® X3 geotextile graphene technology. Geofabrics bidim C Range offers an effective, lower cost means for designers and installers of lining systems to undertake liner integrity surveys in newly constructed containment projects. 

The Geofabrics Technical Team can provide advice as to the best techniques to enable leak detection. Geofabrics bidim C uses graphene technology to offer an effective, lower cost means for designers and installers of lining systems to undertake liner integrity surveys in newly constructed containment cells.

The technology built into Geofabrics bidim C Range only requires overlap of the geotextile to deliver the conductivity required for pin hole detection in a membrane layer above using standard liner integrity survey equipment. There is no welding required and the geotextile does not contain any wires - meaning installation does not require special skills or equipment. Just roll it out with approximately 100 mm overlap on all edges. The Geofabrics GRID laboratory can assist with the right solution to implement critical leak detection for your application.
 

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Tailings open pit

CAPPING TAILINGS DAMS AND PITS

The first challenge in remediation of mine waste storages is often based around access to the site to construct the capping layer. Geofabrics has design strategies that enable the use of High Strength Geotextiles or Geogrids to enable cap access and create a bearing capacity that can be trafficked. Unlike civil engineering, the liquor chemistry must be considered in terms of the solution, as Geosynthetic stress-strain behaviour will change if the polymer is impacted by acid or high pH environments.

Once the bearing capacity is established, the critical aspect is to choose the suitable hydraulic barrier that can maintain performance with the site chemistry, but also handle potential differential settlements to the capping layer over time. This barrier might be an Elcoseal Geosynthetic Clay Liner, a select Polymer or Bituminous Geomembrane and a drainage system comprising Geocomposite Drains and Megaflo Panel Drains.

The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory provide a high level of technical support to make sure your project is implemented effectively and efficiently using the correct type of liner, drainage configuration and grade of geotextile.
 

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FEATURED PRODUCTS

TenCate High Strength Geotextiles on Extremely Soft Soils

TenCate high strength geotextiles can be laid directly on the tailings or sludge to increase the shear strength of the fill material and see an increase in foundation bearing capacity. This enables rapid site access and construction, ordinarily only achieved through high volumes of imported soil, left to consolidate over an extended period.

The Geotextile both separates introduced material and provides a reinforcement function, so understanding the soil parameters and installation method onsite is critical to correct Geotextile selection. For critical tailings applications design must consider the Polymer utilised to manufacture the product, which will see loss of tensile performance if incompatible to site chemistry. The Geofabrics GRID and Technical Hub are well versed to support with this expertise.

Tensar Geogrid Mechanical Stabilisation

The Tensar TriAx  is the most advanced geogrid in today’s market and the result of 30 years continual innovation and development in designing superior Roads, Embankments and Working Platforms . The key Tensar design principle is to mechanically stabilise soils available for capping construction, which results in a positive shear response through the capping depth and a structurally superior formation for construction traffic. To achieve maximum benefit, the choice of Geogrid must be designed link to the construction process and load conditions. The net result is a site-specific cost saving by implementing a thinner soil layer that achieves increased bearing capacity and stability under load.

GEOWEB Mechanical Stabilisation

A Geoweb Cellular Confinement System can be laid above a bidim geotextile on the tailings surface, to provide a thin soil layer that provides maximum bearing capacity for construction traffic. The structure distributes surface stresses extremely effectively to prevent soil shear failures, whilst also allowing a thin pavement construction to maximise soil performance under construction loads. 

Wick Drains for stability 

Wick drains are designed to speed up the consolidation of compressible soils by providing shorter flow paths for water contained in the soil. As the soil consolidates its strength improves which will allow higher loading from larger stockpiles. The use of wick drains can reduce consolidation times from years to months.

Capping Liner - Geosynthetic Clay Liners 

Elcoseal Geosynthetic Clay Liners (GCLs) are hydraulic barriers that consist of a thin layer of high quality bentonite sandwiched between two or more Geotextiles. These present both as single liners and composite liners in conjunction with Geomembranes to cap tailings dams, pits and other waste storages. The challenge is the vast differences between world bentonite sources that need to be designed to ensure compatibility with the site chemistry, and Geotextile types that link to mechanical performance.

The design must answer key questions to determine suitability of a range of GCL types, to ensure the environmental conditions do not cause detriment to the bentonite, and that internal and external shear properties are suitable to survive long term capping settlements. Geofabrics has a range of options that link to interface shear testing and ten years worth of hydraulic testing on a range of liquors at the GRID laboratory to support your design.

Capping Liner – Polymeric Geomembranes 

Geofabrics has access to premium Geomembranes sourced from around the world. From commonly specified Polyethylene (HDPE and LLDPE) Geomembranes to select polymer liners to meet specific waste chemistry from Cooley Group. Solutions must be designed specifically to the chemistry of the liquor to be detained, meet the project stress conditions and ensure that atmospheric exposure (UV, Temperature) does not compromise the liner design life. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has the testing capability to establish specific site liner criteria and has a decade worth of data in this field.

Bituminous Geomembranes

Teranap's bituminous geomembranes (BGMs) are a reliable waterproofing system engineered to suit challenging site conditions that compromise other liner options. Teranap has unique mechanical properties that have high robustness to survive challenging subgrades and cover soils, and overcome site conditions that would be detrimental to other liners.
Teranap uses a modified form of bitumen with a high level of chemical resistance and useable temperature range, while keeping its natural waterproofing qualities. The Geofabrics GRID laboratory can analyse damage factors, chemical compatibility and friction properties to ensure the BGM is compatible to your site.

Drainage Geocomposite

A Drainage Geocomposite can be used to drain stormwater away from above the lining system or capture and relieve porewater or gas below the lining system. The choice of Geonet will depend on the load condition and flow volume required. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has a designated Transmissivity Test rig to test Geonets under project stresses. In conjunction with this, a Geotextile can be designed and tested to establish maximum flow and solids retention to ensure that the Geonet system does not clog or become unstable.

Protection and Filter Geotextiles  - Geofabrics bidim or Texcel

A Geotextile is used to either serve a protection function for the Geomembrane Lining system, or serve a critical filter function when placed over the drainage aggregate or Geonet in capping applications.
The selection of the Geotextile begins with choosing the polymer that meets your site chemistry, primarily Polyester or Polypropylene. PET and PP sources however, are varied in terms of their additive packages, so for applications of extreme pH or extended UV exposure it is critical that the right product is established through direct testing at the Geofabrics GRID laboratory.

Protection or Cushion Geotextiles: In terms of Cushion Geotextile function, the bidim nonwoven geotextiles have a three-dimensional structure that provides maximum protection function per mass, so will always be the first choice for Geomembrane protection to maximise costs. The Texcel Range of Staple Fibre Geotextiles made from either Polyester or Polypropylene are designed for specific polymer, exposure or stress conditions. The critical design criteria can be established through the Geofabrics GRID Laboratory, that has a decade of analysing Protection Geotextiles over Geomembranes to demonstrate technical performance and maximise bang for buck for the Geotextile selected.

Geotextile Filters: Geotextile Filters are critical to maximise drainage performance, and the correct type can provide numerous benefits to waste and tailings dams. The design aim is to choose a Geotextile that has the right structure and pore size to maximise both water through flow and solids retention. A well-designed filter geotextile prevents clogging of drainage aggregate or more critical Geonets, increases dam capacity by removing increased water and improves tailings stability. It also allows maximum recovery of dam water for re-use onsite which is becoming a critical part of the mines Social Licence obligations.

The choice of Geotextile will begin with polymer compatibility and can be subjected to desktop filter design. The key cost saving opportunity is presented by the Geofabrics GRID Laboratory which has 10 years of testing and data with mine sludges, to achieve maximum filter and subsequent drainage performance.

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Lining Evaporation

LINING EVAPORATION AND PROCESS PONDS

On mine sites, process storages and tanks are used to store specific contaminants that present high environmental risk. The key design requirements for these storages is very different to solid waste containments where there is only a head of water acting on the lining system. As such, it is critical to choose the correct lining system which would generally comprise a Polymeric Geomembrane. Due to the elevated risk of environmental harm, critical applications may consist of dual Geomembranes with a Geonet leak collection layer. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has extensive testing and is available to test the suitability of the Geomembrane, and performance of the subsequent Drainage Geocomposite.

Leak Detection: For design of Polymeric Geomembranes, the leakage rate is designed based on the amount of holes per Hectare. As a result, the detection of holes is critical to understand long term performance of the liner. The use of Geofabrics bidim-C  conductive Geotextile beneath the Geomembrane can enable leak detection of holes when a survey is conducted. The Geofabrics Technical Team can provide advice as to the best techniques to enable leak detection.

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FEATURED PRODUCTS

Drainage Geocomposite

A Drainage Geocomposite can be used to capture leak volumes between dual lining systems used in tanks and process ponds applications The choice of Geonet is critical due to the stress impacts that the system might impart on the Geomembranes and must be compatible to the site chemistry to be detained. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has a designated Transmissivity Test rig to test Geonets under project stresses and has written key technical papers in this space. In conjunction with the Geonet, the selection of Filter Geotextile must be critically designed and tested to establish maximum through flow and ensure maximum solids retention to prevent clogging of fine particles into the Geonet system.

Geofabrics Megaflo Primary Drainage

Geofabrics Megaflo® flat drainage pipe provide high crush strength conduits capture both groundwater below the lining system and function as the primary pond liner. The advantage of the flat panel system is that it requires shallow subgrade trenches for groundwater capture, but also can be installed directly onto the liner to enable maximum drainage performance. 

Geofabrics bidim C Leak Detection

For design of Polymeric Geomembranes, the leakage rate is designed based on the amount of holes per Hectare. As a result, the detection of holes is critical to understand long term leak performance of the liner. Geofabrics bidim C Range nonwoven geotextile is the World’s first commercial conductive geotextile made possible with imgne® X3 geotextile graphene technology. Geofabrics bidim C Range offers an effective, lower cost means for designers and installers of lining systems to undertake liner integrity surveys in newly constructed containment projects. The Geofabrics bidim C Geotextile can be laminated to a Geonet to form a detection Geocomposite, or installed as a separate layer to enable leak detection below the critical Polymeric Geomembrane lining system.

Evaporation Ponds

On mine sites, evaporation ponds are used to store site runoff, manage water for processing and provide key storage for water that provides an environmental function for eg. dust control or revegetation. The key design requirement for evaporation ponds is to reduce water loss into the subgrade or through evaporation. Options include an Elcoseal GCL with insitu soils or a Polymeric Geomembrane lining system. 

Evaporation Pond Dewatering: When sediments fill evaporation ponds, they lose the ability to store the required design volumes, become unsuitable to TenCate Geotubes present as the most economic solution to both.

Floating Covers - prevent evaporation loss

Oasis floating covers are durable, high-performance membranes specially designed for use on water dams, reservoirs and open tanks where evaporation loss is critical. Engineered with Cooley’s proprietary TPA polymer, the Oasis floating covers are highly resistant to oxidation, ozone, ultraviolet light, and weathering effects – and because the membrane does not cure, it allows for easy welding of strong, reliable seams during the entire lifetime of the cover. 

FUNCTION: Protection of one of our most vital natural resources, water - is essential. Floating covers for potable water reservoirs provide a vital function in the preservation of our water supply systems by protecting the surface thereby maintain the quality of the water and preventing water loss through evaporation.

Oasis geomembranes offers cost effective and technically superior solution to floating cover applications.

APPLICATIONS: Oasis is a durable, high performance geomembranes used specifically to manufacture floating covers for potable reservoirs and water storage facilities.

FEATURES: Oasis has been developed with Elvaloy® technology to provide the robustness and durability needed for a membrane in this application.

The features are:

  • A chemical-resistant, highly flexible compound due to the combination of Elvaloy® and PVC in the manufacturing process.
  • High chemical resistance which will withstand water chemicals and atmospheric effects.
  • Easy welding of strong, reliable seams during the entire lifetime of the cover.
  • Utilisation of pigment chemistry that fights temperature rise by reflecting the majority of light back off the surface.
  • Available in two different thicknesses and colours.

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Tailings

TAILINGS AND WASTE DRAINAGE

Geofabrics offers comprehensive lining systems comprising our Australian made Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL), Elcoseal and Coolguard, specialty geomembranes designed for applications in extreme chemistry. Our solutions also include cushion geotextiles for liner protection including Texcel and bidim at a fraction of the cost of a sand protection layer.

Many mines or resource projects make use of geosynthetic lining systems to contain their waste, whether it be tailings, liquids or processed waste.  Geofabrics has worked hard over the past decade to understand the nuance for every type of waste involved in the resources sector, and how it influences the selection of materials for the geosynthetic lining systems.

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FEATURED PRODUCTS

A Drainage Geocomposite can be used to capture groundwater volumes below the lining system, and drain tailings liquor heads acting on the basal lining system. The choice of Geonet is critical due to the high stresses in tailings applications and waste dams, and will depend on the load condition and flow volume required. 

Trinet® triaxial geonets provide high flow rates at high confining pressures and provides an economic alternative to gravel drainage layers on the side slopes of waste containment facilities and enables the maximum recovery of water for re-use. The triple layer construction of Trinet® results in a very stable flow path and limited intrusion of any geotextile cover layers.

Trinet is a geocomposite drainage net bonded to a nonwoven geotextile provides the optimum combination of high through-flow capacity for rapid drainage whilst simultaneously preventing fine soil particles from migrating into the drainage core.  Standard Trinet is supplied with a light grade of nonwoven geotextile attached to the drainage net, however heavier grades of nonwoven geotextile can be attached for specialist applications.
The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has a designated Transmissivity Test rig to test Geonets under project stresses and has written key technical papers in this space. 

Geofabrics Megaflo Primary Drainage

Megaflo® flat drainage pipe provide high crush strength conduits capture both groundwater below the lining system and function as the primary tailings drainage system. The advantage of the flat panel system is that it requires shallow subgrade trenches for groundwater capture, but also can be installed directly onto the liner to enable maximum drainage performance. 

Megaflo® is an excellent drainage system, removing water from your structure faster than any other drainage system. The shape and structure of Megaflo® provides a high crush resistance in aggregate whether the drainage system is used vertically or horizontally. Megaflo® Ultra, is a very high strength Megaflo® product, designed for use under excessive loads, such as very deep tailings dams. Megaflo® Ultra is supported by FEA modelling to demonstrate it can withstand applied loads of beyond 1000kPa when used in conjunction with the right drainage aggregate.

Geofabrics bidim C Leak Detection

For design of Polymeric Geomembranes, the leakage rate is designed based on the amount of holes per Hectare. As a result, the detection of holes is critical to understand long term leak performance of the liner. Geofabrics bidim C Range nonwoven geotextile is the World’s first commercial conductive geotextile made possible with imgne® X3 geotextile graphene technology. Geofabrics bidim C Range offers an effective, lower cost means for designers and installers of lining systems to undertake liner integrity surveys in newly constructed containment projects. 

The Geofabrics Technical Team can provide advice as to the best techniques to enable leak detection. Geofabrics bidim C uses graphene technology to offer an effective, lower cost means for designers and installers of lining systems to undertake liner integrity surveys in newly constructed containment cells.

The technology built into Geofabrics bidim C Range only requires overlap of the geotextile to deliver the conductivity required for pin hole detection in a membrane layer above using standard liner integrity survey equipment. There is no welding required and the geotextile does not contain any wires - meaning installation does not require special skills or equipment. Just roll it out with approximately 100 mm overlap on all edges.

Protection and Filter Geotextiles  - Geofabrics bidim or Texcel

A Geotextile is used to either serve a protection function for the Geomembrane Lining system, or serve a critical filter function when placed over the drainage aggregate or Geonet in capping applications.
The selection of the Geotextile begins with choosing the polymer that meets your site chemistry, primarily Polyester or Polypropylene. PET and PP sources however, are varied in terms of their additive packages, so for applications of extreme pH or extended UV exposure it is critical that the right product is established through direct testing at the Geofabrics GRID laboratory.

Protection or Cushion Geotextiles: In terms of Cushion Geotextile function, the bidim nonwoven geotextiles have a three-dimensional structure that provides maximum protection function per mass, so will always be the first choice for Geomembrane protection to maximise costs. The Texcel Range of Staple Fibre Geotextiles made from either Polyester or Polypropylene are designed for specific polymer, exposure or stress conditions. The critical design criteria can be established through the Geofabrics GRID Laboratory, that has a decade of analysing Protection Geotextiles over Geomembranes to demonstrate technical performance and maximise bang for buck for the Geotextile selected.

Geotextile Filters: Are critical to maximise drainage performance, and the correct type can provide numerous benefits to waste and tailings dams. The design aim is to choose a Geotextile that has the right structure and pore size to maximise both water through flow and solids retention. A well-designed filter geotextile prevents clogging of drainage aggregate or more critical Geonets, increases dam capacity by removing increased water and improves tailings stability. It also allows maximum recovery of dam water for re-use onsite which is becoming a critical part of the mines Social Licence obligations.
The choice of Geotextile will begin with polymer compatibility and can be subjected to desktop filter design. The key cost saving opportunity is presented by the Geofabrics GRID Laboratory which has 10 years of testing and data with mine sludges, to achieve maximum filter and subsequent drainage performance..

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Tailing Treatment Systems

Tailings Treatment Systems

The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory presents a key partnership opportunity for mine sites who have legacy contaminant streams that cannot be processed. Emerging passive tailings treatment solutions present as key technologies to treat AMD Water, high pH and brine solutions. The fundamental technique uses a contained treatment system to treat contaminated waters that polishes the water for release into the environment or process re-use.

Working with Geofabrics early in the project life has helped many engineers deliver a superior performance outcome with significant reductions in risk and cost compared to the traditional or standard lining systems.

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FEATURED PRODUCTS

Sorbseal Reactive Barriers

A patented, market leading passive treatment clay liner, Sorbseal is manufactured with world-leading bentonite clay with select treatment additives for a range of contaminants. This product has important implications for passive water treatment by using bentonite to enable a controlled percolation rate and select additives to attenuate chemistry from contaminated liquors. The solution treats water by containing contaminants and provides world leading treatment  management. 

Geoweb Channel Treatment

The Geoweb geocell cellular confinement system is the most advanced soil stabilisation technology available. When used in channel spilways it can contain treatment soils that passively treat waters through the spillway, capturing critical chemistry and percolating polished water at the base of the channel. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has key technical capability to facilitate treatment of contaminated waste streams and reuse or release of polished water. 

ADVANTAGES

  • The Geoweb geocell cellular confinement system is manufactured to ISO 9001 quality standards. Its robust UV resistant structure is ideal for use in harsh environments.
  • The Geoweb system can be used to contain fine soils that have high surface area to treat liquors that would otherwise wash away in standard channel systems.
  • It is an eco-friendly soil stabilisation solution that blends into the natural environment.
  • Its strong, three-dimensional structure means it can easily withstand construction activities. 
  • With different types of infill, perforations allow infill to interlock with the cell walls, increasing frictional resistance, creating a better armoured slope.
  • In saturated conditions, the removal of excess water increases infill friction, reducing down slope sliding forces, resulting in a more stable system.

TenCate Geotubes for Stability

TenCate Geotube® dewatering technology are generally used to dewater sludge, but also present as an opportunity to confine select soils that passively treat contaminated water.  TenCate Geotube® dewatering technology allows water to be polished and drain through small pores in the geotextiles. The result is effective passive treatment and containment of contaminant streams. It is critical that the client engage with the Geofabrics GRID Laboratory to understand the suitable passive treatment option for your site, through initial desktop design, small scale testing and upscaled implementation onsite.

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Embankment

Tailings Embankment Reinforcement

Construction of embankments and platforms over poor quality subgrade material can be a costly exercise. The incorporation of a geotextile or Geogrid can enable initial stabilisation of soft subgrades and the use of key Geogrids and Geotextiles can serve as embankment reinforcement to increase factors of safety of dam walls and embankments.

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FEATURED PRODUCTS

TenCate High Strength Geotextile Reinforcement

TenCate Mirafi (woven), TenCate Miragrid (geogrids) and TenCate Polyfelt (composites), made from high tenacity polymers meet the highest demands of the site:

  • Strength up to 1600kN/m to ensure embankment stability
  • Long term properties to guarantee performance over the lifetime of the structure
  • Adaptable rolls to suit site requirements:
  • Long and wide rolls
  • Custom made roll sizes to facilitate ease of installation

Tensar Geogrid Mechanical Stabilisation

Tensar® Uniaxial® Geogrids have proven to be extremely efficient at confining and stabilising aggregate and comprised from HDPE present as a high performing option to withstand site chemistry.

TenCate Geotubes for Stability

TenCate Geotube® dewatering technology uses high strength geotextiles with unique filtration and retention properties to provide solutions to mining and mineral processing. Dewatering of waste water and sludge is commonly achieved by pumping the slurry into permeable geotextile tubes and allowing the moisture evaporate through the geotextile and drain through the geotextile under high loading. During containment of fine grain sludge, contaminated soils or dredged waste material, TenCate Geotube® dewatering technology allows excess water to drain through small pores in the geotextiles.

The result is effective dewatering and efficient volume reduction of the contained material. The run-off from the dewatering process can be reused or treated and returned to native waterways. This process of containment and dewatering can be repeated in an individual tube. After the final containment and dewatering cycle, the retained fine grained materials in the TenCate Geotube® can continue to consolidate. 

The solids contained are low in pore water content and present as a Geotechnically stable option to enable embankment construction, or facilitate tailings raises within the dam footprint. The added benefit of TenCate Geotubes is the ability to polish water for re use or release into the environment.

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Tailing Erosion Control

Tailings Erosion Protection for Embankments and Final Covers

Rainfall erosion can cause major damage to tailings and waste embankments and cause loss of final landform profiles of the final waste rehabilitation.  Erosion causes the mobilisation of sediments to cause piping and major instability. Geofabrics has a range of surface erosion solution that either provide a surface erosion protection, prevent high velocity sediment movements or enable the development of revegetation strategies that are required in environmental plans.

Erosion can occur along well defined flow paths and as overland flow in shallow depths, known as sheet flow. Several types of geosynthetics are used to prevent or repair erosion problems.

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Sediment Control Options 

The most basic solution is the clever use of silt fences, coco logs or surface geotextiles to provide basic mechanisms to slow surface flow and prevent sediment movements at high velocity.

Geotextiles for Temporary Surface Erosion Protection

The use of bidim high UV geotextiles can also be used as full surface protection for short term use as Polyester provides inherent UV stability to provide maximum survivability against UV and wind abrasion. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has worked with sites long term to understand the survivability of Geotextiles when exposed over the short and long term.

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Wsate Capping

Access to Cappings of Tailings Dams, Pits and Waste

The first challenge in remediation of mine waste storages is often based around access to the site to construct the capping layer. Geofabrics has design strategies that enable the use of High Strength Geotextiles or Geogrids to enable cap access and create a bearing capacity that can be trafficked. Unlike civil engineering, the liquor chemistry must be considered in terms of the solution, as Geosynthetic stress-strain behaviour will change if the polymer is impacted by acid or high pH environments.

The second critical aspect to maximise the solution performance requires key installation advice that can be provided by the Geofabrics Mining Hub. A well formed design is rendered inefficient unless linked to this key installation plan to maximise reinforcement.

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TenCate High Strength Geotextiles on Extremely Soft Soils

TenCate high strength geotextiles can be laid directly on the tailings or sludge to increase the shear strength of the fill material and see an increase in foundation bearing capacity. This enables rapid site access and construction, ordinarily only achieved through high volumes of imported soil, left to consolidate over an extended period.

The Geotextile both separates introduced material and provides a reinforcement function, so understanding the soil parameters and installation method onsite is critical to correct Geotextile selection. For critical tailings applications design must consider the Polymer utilised to manufacture the product, which will see loss of tensile performance if incompatible to site chemistry. The Geofabrics GRID and Technical Hub are well versed to support with this expertise.

Tensar Geogrid Mechanical Stabilisation

The Tensar TriAx  is the most advanced geogrid in today’s market and the result of 30 years continual innovation and development in designing superior Roads, Embankments and Working Platforms . The key Tensar design principle is to mechanically stabilise soils available for capping construction, which results in a positive shear response through the capping depth and a structurally superior formation for construction traffic. To achieve maximum benefit, the choice of Geogrid must be designed link to the construction process and load conditions. The net result is a site-specific cost saving by implementing a thinner soil layer that achieves increased bearing capacity and stability under load.

GEOWEB Mechanical Stabilisation

A Geoweb Cellular Confinement System can be laid above a bidim geotextile on the tailings surface, to provide a thin soil layer that provides maximum bearing capacity for construction traffic. The structure distributes surface stresses extremely effectively to prevent soil shear failures, whilst also allowing a thin pavement construction to maximise soil performance under construction loads. 
 

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Geotube Dewatering

Drainage and Dewatering of Tailings and Waste Cappings

Once a waste storage facility has reached capacity, environmental concerns may necessitate the capping and sealing of the storage dam. Typical concerns include site access and reuse, rainfall infiltration, stability and gas emissions. The desired end use would govern the design of a suitable system which may include a number of geosynthetic products. Sealing of the facility can be achieved by capping the waste with a suitable geosynthetic clay liner or composite lining system. This will prevent ingress of water, gas emissions and contain the waste.

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Wick Drains for stability

Wick drains are designed to speed up the consolidation of compressible soils by providing shorter flow paths for water contained in the soil. As the soil consolidates its strength improves which will allow higher loading from larger stockpiles. The use of wick drains can reduce consolidation times from years to months.

Geotube Dewatering

Geotube® dewatering technology uses high strength geotextiles with unique filtration and retention properties to provide solutions to mining and mineral processing. Dewatering of waste water and sludge is commonly achieved by pumping the slurry into permeable geotextile tubes and allowing the moisture (a) evaporate through the geotextile and (b) drain through the geotextile under high loading. During containment of fine grain sludge, contaminated soils or dredged waste material, Geotube® dewatering technology allows excess water to drain through small pores in the geotextiles. The result is effective dewatering and efficient volume reduction of the contained material. The run-off from the dewatering process can be reused or treated and returned to native waterways. This process of containment and dewatering can be repeated in an individual tube. After the final containment and dewatering cycle, the retained fine grained materials in the Geotube® can continue to consolidate. The captured solids in the Geotube® container can then be disposed of or processed as required.

Geotextile Filtration - Geofabrics bidim / Texcel

bidim nonwoven geotextiles have a three-dimensional structure designed to improve drainage performance. Ideal for use in subsoil drainage systems, bidim will assist in the removal of water from road and railway works, sports fields and behind retaining walls.

Heavy duty geotextiles are used to prevent damage to impermeable liners designed to contain harmful liquors in landfill and mining applications; the design of the liner system needs to limit the chance of punctures during installation and reduce the risk of long term stress cracking of the geomembrane. Research has shown that bidim geotextiles can significantly reduce forces placed on the impermeable liners, protecting them in both the short and long term. Needle free bidim is commonly specified in liner protection applications to help prevent damage to the liner.

  • The incorporation of bidim geotextiles reduces the need for quarried fill materials and reduces construction times.
  • Tightly rolled wide rolls can result in significant transportation cost savings.
  • Local production of bidim allows full QA traceability of every roll, with many customers auditing our local production facilities.
  • Needle free bidim geotextiles provide designers and installers in the waste and containment sectors with confidence that their liner will not be damaged.
  • Local UV testing conducted over many years, which important as we have one of the most extreme UV environments in the world.
  • Centre of Excellence research and testing into use of bidim as a cushion layer, yielding savings to contractors and asset owners.
  • Local production of bidim allows for production of project specific grades or roll dimensions.
  • Complies with all road, rail and landfill authority specifications.
  • Local stock holdings ensure we have the right product in the right place at the right time.

Texcel restricts the migration of fine soil particles from a soil mass while remaining permeable to water movement at a rate at least equivalent to the permeability of the retained soil.

Texcel geotextiles are a new generation of nonwoven staple fibre geotextiles which have been developed to stabilise coastal structures and protect landfill lining systems. Manufactured from either Polyester and/or Polypropylene fibres, they have a unique staple fibre blend and an inbuilt flexibility to allow Engineers to specify mechanical and hydraulic criteria to suit tough environmental conditions.

Texcel geotextiles, which are manufactured in Australia, are supported by 25 years of research, development and testing. They are highly resistant to abrasion and UV degradation and provide superior filtration for coastal applications and excellent cushioning for landfill applications. Texcel geotextiles also have high elongation properties minimising installation damage and ensuring effective soil contact, interaction and stability.

Geofabrics provide a high level of technical support to make sure your project is implemented effectively and efficiently using the correct type and grade of geotextile.

Continuous research and development is carried out at the 'Geosynthetic Centre of Excellence’ on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Including protection geotetxtile testing apparatus and a full scale rock drop apparatus to simulate on-site revetment performance.

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Waste revegetation

Revegetation of final Waste Landforms capping

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Biodegradeable Erosion Protection

The second option would involve the use of Jute Mesh or Jute Mats to provide intermittent or full surface coverage that enables revegation of tailings and surrounding surfaces.

Synthetic Erosion Mats

Grassroots is an erosion control matting designed to protect underlying soil in steep slopes and channels from moderate to high velocity water flows, rain splash and other erosive conditions, while allowing seeds to germinate successfully and grow through the matting providing permanent vegetative reinforcement. Grassroots is made in Australia by Geofabrics from heavy synthetic UV stabilised fibres which are needle punched together into a tight open weave synthetic scrim that allows maximum surface sediment retention while facilitating maximum revegetation potential in extreme environmental conditions.

FUNCTION: Grassroots is a long term erosion control matting designed to protect underlying soil in steep slopes and channels from moderate to high velocity water flows, rain splash and other erosive conditions, while allowing seeds to germinate successfully and grow through the matting providing permanent vegetative reinforcement. 

APPLICATIONS: Channels and Spillway Lining; Grassroots has been used successfully in many channel lining and road edge rehabilitation applications requiring increased resistance to soil loss as a result of hydraulically induced shear stresses. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has extensive test data to demonstrate the resistance of the Grassroots system to surface flows.

ADVANTAGES: Grassroots is made in Australia by Geofabrics from heavy synthetic UV stabilised fibres which are needle punched together into an open weave synthetic scrim creating a three-dimensional structure which holds vegetation in place in extreme environmental conditions.

Geoweb Slope Protection

The Geoweb Cellular Confinement System offers a broad range of surface protection treatments for slopes that are subjected to erosive forces. The inherent flexibility of the system, combined with a variety of simple, yet positive anchoring techniques, permits the application of both vegetated and hard surfacing materials to steep slopes. By ensuring the long-term stability and effectiveness of slope cover materials, the integrity of underlying soils can be guaranteed and appropriate aesthetic standards maintained. The Geoweb system can also provide means of fully vegetating slope surfaces that could not otherwise support plant life.

For critical mine slopes, the availability of rock infill allows Geoweb slope coverage that prevents surface erosion, slows critical water velocities and improves the Geotechnical stability of boundary embankments.

Bituminous Geomembranes (BGM)

Teranap's bituminous geomembranes (BGMs) are a reliable waterproofing system engineered to suit exposure onsite to environmental and UV conditions that compromise other liner options. Teranap has unique mechanical properties that have high robustness to survive challenging subgrades and cover soils, and overcome site conditions that would be detrimental to other liners.

Teranap uses a modified form of bitumen with a high level of chemical resistance and useable temperature range, while keeping its natural waterproofing qualities. The Geofabrics GRID laboratory can analyse damage factors, chemical compatibility, UV performance and friction properties to ensure the BGM is compatible to your site.

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