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Arizona – Mine tailing ponds

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Lining the freshwater side of a tailing ponds at a mining site

TILTEX 7 was chosen to line the freshwater side of a tailing ponds at a mine site in Arizona. A failing buried liner system, along the face of the berm, which separates fresh water from dried tailings was raising concern. Also of concern was the high-winds prevalent at the location contributing to erosion control issues.

The purpose of the project was to cover one side of the tailing ponds to prevent water from entering the middle embankment. This protection was necessary to retain water, which is critical to the mining process.

More than 11 100 m2 of TILTEX was installed safely, quickly, and without any specialized training or tools.

The length of this slope was approx. 32 m and the angle was approximately 2:1. The installation required the use of a crane and observer, as the crane lowered the product to be rolled out from behind the embankment, on a dry sediment pond, almost 6 m vertically below the top of the embankment.

Alternatives considered included a geomembrane liner, and traditional concrete. Geomembrane was ruled out in favor of the customer’s need for a more robust option, that would also provide erosion control. This option was also bypassed for potential construction delays in this high wind area, as well as potential for repeated future repair. Traditional concrete was ruled out as a solution, due to increased cost and difficult installation, based on the slope angle and length.

Site challenges for this large project included inclement weather (snow and excess rainfall), however due to the ease of application the budget and timeline remained intact.

Technical data
11 100 m²
Civil engineering