Advances in Geosynthetics for Heap Leaching
The mining industry is one of the world’s biggest single users of geosynthetics, with as much as 40% of all geomembranes produced being utilized in mining operations. Heap leaching is the biggest driver of this usage. Just in the past 15 years, heap leaching has extended to chalcopyrite copper, uranium, and rare earths. Raincoat covers are being used. New geomembrane formulations are increasing heap leach yield. Previously thought “impossible” heap leach designs are achieved every couple years.
Geosynthetics are enabling this rapid growth in heap leaching, but mining engineers must better understand how and why geosynthetics and their various types succeed or are not appropriate for site-specific situations in mining.
Smith, Parra, and Beck will deliver a high-level course focused on:
Geotechnical behavior (e.g., soil-geomembrane interface, seismic-induced deformation, performance with high loads, steep slopes, valley fills)
Special considerations (e.g., bioleaching and nickel, high operating temperatures, cold weather leaching, evaporative covers, cost benchmarking for leach pads)
Performance monitoring of heaps (e.g., geotechnical instrumentation, design vs. as-built, operational issues, variability in geosynthetic quality)
Quality of installed facilities (e.g., electrical leak location surveys, zero-leakage designs, construction quality control, cost/benefit analysis)
Risk management and project de-risking (e.g., avoiding the “silo” effect, drained shell concept, coupling geomechanics, hydrogeology, and geochemistry)
Nota: este curso será dictado en Inglés, sin embargo, los instructores podrán responder las preguntas en Español y Portugués durante las discusiones con la audiencia.