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Spotlight

Geosynthetics: The Key to Optimizing Productivity

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 17:39

Mine operations depend on a 24-hour, 365-day work schedule and setbacks can represent million-dollar losses for operators. Given the high capital risk at mine sites, operators are prioritizing maintenance and optimization, for example in haul roads and leaching pads. Understanding this need, TDM Mexico optimizes production efficiency through a technology based on geosynthetics, including geomembranes and geogrids.
Geosynthetic products can be used to install waterproof systems within leaching pits and tailings dams. Essentially, geomembranes employ geotechnical material to control fluids within projects and structures. The main benefit of the material is its resistance to water, erosion, UV rays and bacteria. Regarding its installation, TDM Mexico starts by laying out the geomembrane in strategic areas, followed by the use of an anchoring system to ensure its durability. The company carries out various tests to guarantee the high quality of the installation. These include air pressure, vacuum and electric spark tests and a trial for extrusion wielding.
Besides the risk of a production setback, mining projects are also vulnerable to rockfalls and landslides. Vegetation becomes a critical factor for long-term ground erosion control and for stabilizing the surrounding areas during mining closures. This can be achieved through slope protection. TDM’s technology works by anchoring a specialized erosion-control metallic grid combined with turf reinforcement mats. It combats erosion on slopes and surfaces, avoiding soil vulnerabilities and landslides. When placed on the ground, it also works as a protective cover, creating a porous and absorbent layer that in turn improves germination and plant growth.
In efficiently addressing the much-needed reinforcement of soft soil, TDM also offers solutions for haul roads through geogrid technology. The high resistance to deformations in the ground and an open geometry based on strong joints that laterally confine the material used to fill haul roads provide this technology with a unique rigidity. Geogrids can be used to reinforce haul roads and platforms where loads in mine sites are transferred.
To complete its solutions portfolio, Geocells are another key component of TDM’s technology. The company developed its own manufacturing facility for HDPE Geocells, now the only one in Latin America. The applications for this technology include haul roads, slope protection, retaining walls, channels and Geomembrane protection.