Featured Case Studies: Mining

Bailey Mine

West Finley, Pennsylvania

Bailey Mine, supplies bituminous coal used in the generation of electricity. At the site, coal laden sediment is pumped to settlement ponds which are typically underlain with clay. As the ponds are extended vertically to increase theircapacity, the side slopes must be lined with clay or geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) to prevent the pumped water from reentering the local aquifer.

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Barrick Goldstrike Mine

Elko, Nevada

The Barrick Goldstrike tailings bottom liner system consisted of an 80 mil HDPE textured geomembrane overlaying BENTOMAT DN GCL. The GCL was used as a replacement for the 1 ft of 1 x 10-6 cm/sec permability compacted clay liner.

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Carlotta Copper

Carlotta, Arizona, U.S.A.

The Carlota Copper mine is an open-pit copper mine located approximately six miles west of Miami, Arizona. The site produces LME grade copper cathode through the process of heap leaching, in which a chemical solution is ir-rigated through heaps of ore, dissolving the precious metal. The resulting copper-infused liquid (aka the pregnant leach solution) trickles down to a leach pad, where it is collected and pumped to a recovery facility. In order to prevent the pregnant leach solution from leaking out, the leach pads are typically comprised of a composite liner system with a geomembrane overlying a low permeability soil layer.

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Copler Mine

Erzincan Province, Turkey

The Gold Mine Heap Leach project is a large, open pit gold deposit located in central Turkey. The site processes gold ore through leaching, in which a chemical solution is irrigated through heaps of ore, dissolving the precious metal. The resulting gold-infused liquid trickles down to a leach pad, where it is collected and pumped to a recovery facility.

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Fort McMurray Oil Sands

Northeastern Alberta, Canada

The Suncor Pond 1 is an oil sands tailings pond located near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. This region experiences an average winter temperature of -19 °C, with a record low temperature of -50 °C. Full-scale closure and reclamation activities had been underway at the site since 2007. In late 2009, infilling of the pond had been completed.

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Rasmussen Ridge Phosphate Mine

Soda Springs, Idaho

The Rasmussen Ridge Phosphate Mine Tailing Storage Facility was implemented as part of the on-going Supplemental Reclamation Action as a demonstration project. The cap and cover system was designed to effectively eliminate surface water infiltration and potential runoff of trace concentrations of selenium contained in the waste rock.

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