Skip to content

As a result of an expansion of the ore deposit in a mine operation (underground and open pit mining), the construction of a heap leach facility founded on a mine-waste-filled open pit has been required. Due to the poorly consolidated nature of the waste material and the presence of underground openings, there is concern about the settlement that would be presented at the foundation of the heap leach facility. This settlement may compromise the serviceability of the solution collection system and the integrity of the liner system. This paper presents the analysis of immediate settlements of the heap leach facility based on the deformation of the mine waste material (loose material) with FEM (Finite Element Method). To evaluate and compare the abilities of LLDPE geomembrane to withstand differential settlements the co-energy concept (Giroud, 1994; Giroud et al., 1995) and comparisons with available tolerance criteria (Kavazanjian, et al. 2014) were applied.