11 Mar 2021

Blog Bite 4: 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 final bite on this topic where we discuss how Geotubes can be used to facilitate end-of-life closure.


No mining company wants to spend big money on end-of-life closure but are facing ever increasing closure costs due to tightened environmental closure standards and pressure from insurance companies concerned about long term risk of post closure contamination.

TenCate Geosynthetics is uniquely positioned as a provider of a variety of geosynthetics that can be used to assist economically engineer closure of contaminated slurry ponds and tailings dams.

Besides the option to use Geotube® dewatering systems to assist re-shape TSF profiles to facilitate easier closure, geotextile tubes can also be used to compress the volume of toxic slurry residue for cheaper disposal or more secure storage.

Sludge pond with very low shear strength

TenCate also offers a wide range of high tenacity reinforcement geotextiles suitable for capping large areas of soft TSF slimes. The TenCate fabrics used in these applications can be supplied in custom lengths, or prefabricated panels designed to span across the closure significantly reducing closure construction time and cost.

By engaging with TenCate, clients receive well thought through proposals that remove the mystery of designing dewatering tubes and are presented numbers that can be assessed and costed irrespective of waste slurry type and composition. The same applies to challenges arising from finding solutions to close large expanses of soft tailings.

The fill closure should be constructed to ensure bearing and shear failures do no occur in the sludge pond during closure filling

Call on Our Experienced Technical Support

TenCate Geosynthetics offers the services of experienced engineers to simplify the understanding of how TenCate Geotube® dewatering systems and reinforcement fabrics perform.

This includes selecting and sizing geotextile tubes and supporting the selection with calculations including the type and dosage of polymer required. To access this service, please email us your contact details and information required. Our specialists will respond to you.

In our next series of Blog Bites, we will focus in more detail on capping solutions and the things to consider when examining the closure of ponds or lagoons on mine sites. Watch this space!

We are also excited to announce that Chris Lawson will be presenting "SOFT SITE IMPOUNDMENT CLOSURES USING GEOSYNTHETICS" in the upcoming ACIGS webinar. Save the date for 20 April 2021. Register now.

TenCate Geosynthetics Asia
Send email +603-5192 8568