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In North America, the geomembrane puncture resistance index test (ASTM D4833) is primarily used as a means of manufacturing quality control, however—because of the name—it is sometimes assumed to have a relationship to puncture resistance in the field. To explore the implications of this assumption, seven different geomembranes are examined using the index puncture test and a performance test which simulated an aggressive heap leach pad loading condition with a coarse drainage layer in direct contact with the geomembrane. It is found that the approach adopted in ASTM D4833 of reporting the peak force as the “puncture resistance” can sometimes be a misleading indictor of real puncture resistance when certain geomembranes are compared but it is a good indictor when different thicknesses of the same geomembrane are tested. There are, however, ways of interpreting the index test other than taking the peak force such as measuring the offset-tangent modulus, break properties, and puncture toughness. It is found that the puncture break elongation can sometimes have a better correlation to field puncture resistance in some situations (such as deep burial) suggesting that both geomembrane strength and extensibility are important properties despite the fact that ASTM D4833 only says to report the peak force.