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Construction Supervision of a Zinc Tailings Storage Facility and Return Water Dam

Author: Antonie Van Der Westhuizen
Conference: 6th International Mining and Industrial Waste Management Conference
Date: October 29-31, 2018

ABSTRACT
One of the largest diversified natural resource companies required a 110-hectare tailings storage facilities (TSF) as part of the new Zinc mine in the Northern Cape, South Africa. This facility and return water dam (RWD) were required to be covered by 1.5mm HDPE smooth and 1.5mm HDPE double textured geomembrane in specific areas to make up the barrier system. The main objective of the barrier system is to contain the slurry being deposited to ultimately prevent groundwater contamination. The geomembrane used in these facilities had to be securely connected to the various components making up the TSF and RWD. The in-situ basin material contained nodular calcrete that created challenges for surface preparation. In areas where the surface specification couldn’t be met, a geotextile (300 GSM non-woven, needle punched) protection layer had to be implemented into the design and be deployed on site to prevent puncture damage to the primary geomembrane.

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