The Coeur Rochester mine in Rochester, Nevada produced 4.6 million ounces of silver and 52,600 ounces of gold in 2016. One of the reasons for the success of the open pit and surface mining operation, with its on-site heap leach pads, has been the use of 80-mil high-density polyethylene geomembranes and geosynthetic clay liners for the various containment needs and geotextiles for cushioning, protection, and soil separation.
International Lining Technology has been involved in the geosynthetics installation work. The Stage 3 development, for example, used 367,500 ft.2 of the 80-mil liner.
SILVER AND GOLD MINING RETURNS
The mining industry is a major user of geosynthetics—particularly containment materials. Some estimates indicate that up to 40% of the world’s geomembrane supply is used in mining. The barrier materials, along with GCLs, are used for heap leaching, tailings ponds, evaporation ponds, liquor trenches, processing pits, on-site water storage, floating covers, and closure activities.
For mine operations such as heap leaching, which is a key part of the Coeur Rochester site, geosynthetic containment prevents loss of pregnant solution to seepage. This enables more to be extracted from the leached material, giving the mine greater profitability and a better environmental performance record.
Successful silver and gold mining depends upon a great many factors during the operational life, but one of the most important in the development of a mine is the proper specification of geosynthetic materials and proper installation of those materials. With geosynthetic containment, it is critical that the right materials are selected and that experienced installation is utilized.
International Lining Technology is one of the largest geosynthetic and geomembrane contractors in the United States. The company’s portfolio includes broad activity in mining, coal ash, landfills, agriculture, and other sectors.
For more information on silver and gold mining expertise and work in other sectors requiring geosynthetic containment, visit www.intlining.com.
This story was adapted from International Lining Technology’s project note on its website.