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

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

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.


Download the full technical paper.



Recent Insights

November 2023
Earthquake-induced Deformation Analysis of a TSF Undergoing Tailings Reprocessing
November 2023
Case Study: Approach to Determining the Risk Mitigation Priority of a Historic TSF in North America
October 2023
The Role of Sensitivity Analysis in Selecting Dam Breach Parameters
September 2023
Transición energética para gerentes de mina
August 2023
Interview: Guillermo Barreda, Gerente General, Knight Piésold Perú
July 2023
Selection of Soil Shear Strength Parameters Based on Integrated In Situ Tests, Lab Tests and Numerical Calibration Approach
June 2023
Leveraging Knowledge and Experience of a Well-Formed Independent Tailings Review Board to Enhance Tailings Facility Safety
May 2023
Is the Implementation of Dry Stacking for Tailings Storage Increasing? A Southern African Perspective
February 2023
Canadian Consulting Engineer's Lifetime Achievement Awards: Jeremy Haile
February 2023
Geotechnical Characterization of Collapsible Salty Sands Subjected to Monotonic and Cyclic Loadings – A Case Study for Areas with High Seismicity
November 2022
Application of the 3D Limit Equilibrium Method in Tailings Dam Breach Analysis
November 2022
Evaluation of Tailings Behaviour for Dam Breach Assessments
November 2022
Tailings Improvement by Stress-Densification from Waste Rock Capping
November 2022
Transforming Tailings Management Systems toward Alignment with the GISTM: A Case History
October 2022
Managing Excessive Pit Wall Deformation of Weak Rock Mass
October 2022
State-of-the-art Method for Estimating Long-term Hydroclimatic Conditions for Tailing Dam Water Management and Dam Safety Planning
August 2022
Observed Subsidence Progression at New Afton Mine in Response to Lift 1 Mining
June 2022
Hydrometric Monitoring and Effluent Discharge Mixing in Challenging Natural Conditions
May 2022
Inundation Modelling of Non-Newtonian Tailings Dam Breach Outflows
May 2022
Video: Tailings Management Compliancy Picks Up Momentum