Conference on developments in desalination technology
The mine and surrounding region is in northern Nevada where surface water is scarce, creating a need for sustainable water solutions during mining operations. A pond for water storage was built in the late 1980’s out of a flexible material called VLDPE. The used material had excellent elongation and weldability properties but was not equiped with suficcient UV stabilizors, causing it to break down rapidly when exposed to sunlight. The VLDPE liner was removed and replaced with high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner by an unknown producer, but this material also proved to be prone to breakdown, causing leakage through the double liner. The harsh weathering, steep slopes, and overall mining operations overwhelmed the containment system. A design that with a significant drainage solution was needed.
In 2017, engineers were brought in to remedy issues with the pond. The group designed a new 625,000 square foot, double-lined pond using AGRU America 60 mil single-sided HDPE MicroSpike liner, with a 200 mil AGRU Geonet as the separator between liners to guarantee quick flow to the leak detection sump. Faster, more exact leak detection enables crews to pinpoint and seal leaks.
In addition to the drainage solution, the engineers chose AGRU MicroSpike, a highly durable geomembrane liner with consistent friction angle values for slope stability. Engineers used thermal fusion welding to create an impermeable seal between adjacent sheets. All products were tested at AGRU America’s GAI/LAP certified lab for quality.
To date, the project has resulted in a leak free pond.
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