Tailings Applications in Waste Containment
Although tailings are deposited hydraulically, the main purpose of the containment is to contain the solids produced by mining operations. A tailings containment can be either a lined pond or a dam with a dam face lining. Layfield has been providing dam facings for tailings containments since the early 80’s.
The most common use for geosynthetics in tailings is the dam face liner or geomembrane. Layfield has installed a number of dam linings and has extended these linings in future years as the tailings dams have grown. But a growing problem with tailings has been the remediation of soft tailings materials. Layfield has used high strength geotextiles to support earthen covers for final closures of tailings ponds and has high strength tubes available for sludge and tailings dewatering. Layfield also installs vertical wick drains, which can be added to tailings to speed consolidation in certain situations.