Authors: Fitton, TG; Seddon, KD; Alexander, MG


Cite As:
Fitton, TG, Seddon, KD & Alexander, MG 2010, 'Geosynthetic capping of a large tailings storage facility', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Mine Waste 2010: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on the Reduction of Risk in the Management of Tailings and Mine Waste, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 263-273,

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The capping of a large tailings storage facility using geosynthetic material and rockfill is presented as a case study. This paper focuses on a project to place a 13 metre thick capping layer over a 24 hectare, 40 metre deep in-pit coal tailings storage facility (TSF) in the Hunter Valley, in eastern Australia. The coal tailings stored in this mined out pit possess very low strength, and conventional attempts at capping have proven to be unsuccessful due to stability failures of the tailings. A geosynthetic capping design was developed, in which the entire surface of the tailings is to be covered in geosynthetic material that is anchored around the perimeter of the TSF, enabling the careful placement of layers of fill material using lightweight earthmoving equipment. Innovative methods of placement and joining of the geosynthetic material have been developed. The methods of fill placement on the weak tailings have also been innovative, with the deployment of unconventional machinery where most other earthmoving machines have been unable to work. This paper presents an overview of this project, as well as some of the details of the solutions that have been developed.

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Geosynthetic capping of a large tailings storage facility T.G. Fitton et al.
274 Mine Waste 2010, Perth, Australia

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