25 Feb 2021

Blog Bite 2: Geotube® Systems Come of Age for Mining and Mineral Process Waste Dewatering

By John Smith

Welcome to our blog space where we share our insights and experiences in civil engineering and geosynthetics. We feature bite-sized articles for quick and easy consumption.

Over recent years there has been a noticeable increase in the use of TenCate Geotube® systems in dewatering mineral waste or being part of mine water and waste stream management practice.

So, what is driving this increased acceptance and how successful are Geotube® systems in dewatering complex slurries? We explore 4 key reasons in 4 bite-sized pieces.

Let’s take our second bite where we explore the versatility of TenCate Geotube® dewatering systems.


Engineered Flexibility For Every Project

The beauty of Tencate Geotube® systems is that geotextile tubes can be sized from bulker-bag or skip-bin sized units holding from one m³ of solids to massive containers exceeding 30m in circumference and 100m in length capable of holding more than 3,000m³ of dry cake.

This flexibility is the result of investment in modern fiber extrusion and weaving of a variety of fabric types with specific designed strength, pore opening size and high permeability engineered to dewater a broad spectrum of organic and inorganic slurries that are then fabricated into geotextile tubes delivering operating performance that is unmatched within the geosynthetic industry.

Skip bin sized units

Geotube® stack farm

Useful Innovations

This versatility has spawned a variety of innovative geotextile tubes designs aimed at assisting help better direct tailings slurry flow out into TSF’s by creating slurry flow channels over soft tailings beaches using long thin geotextile tubes filled direct from spigots.

Another variant is the use of these geotextile tubes as internal barrier walls to trap slurry flow and raise tailings inverts and modify planar profiles to assist simplify end-of-life closure.

Water & Environment Management

TenCate Geotube® systems have also been used to alleviate water management issues impacting on mine operations by using the geotextile tubes as filter bags. Contaminants are retained within the geotextile tubes and clean effluent discharge either redirected back into the process or allowed to flow into settling ponds significantly reducing contaminant discharge into the environment.

No Operational Disruption

Another evolving use for geotextile tubes is in conjunction with conventional mechanical dewatering equipment to accelerate process plant output resulting from unforecasted increases in demand that exceed the capacity of the installed mechanical equipment to handle. In other instances, TenCate geotextile tubes are used to offset the impact of taking mechanical plant offline for maintenance by allowing full production to continue.

The versatility of Geotube® systems really is undoubtedly beneficial in so many ways.

See you next week for the third bite-sized article where we will talk about the “Cost Effectiveness of TenCate Geotube® Dewatering”.

TenCate Geosynthetics Asia
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