The Interface Strength in the Heap Leach Pad Stability Analysis: Laboratory and In-situ Tests

Author: Elio Murrugarra Boñón, Fanny Herrera Loayza, Luis de la Cruz Rengifo, David Reaño Vidal
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2016
Date: October 2-5, 2016

In the design of heap leach pads, it is well known that the stability of the ore heap is dependent on the weakest element material, i.e. of the interface between the low permeability soil (soil liner) and the geomembrane. The  interface strength is dependent on the materials involved, both of the soil as well as the geomembrane, and its shear strength is determined by direct shear testing. In order to increase the resistance of the interface, flexible single and double- textured geomembranes have been used successfully. A thin layer of sand between the soil liner and the geomembrane has also been used in order to increase the friction between materials and thus improve its resistant to sliding. This paper presents interesting examples from recent project experiences.


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