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Heap Leach Pads

Heap leaching involves the industrial process of extracting precious metals, like copper, gold, silver, uranium and other compounds from ore. As there is a risk of contaminating soil and groundwater tables during the heap leaching process, geomembranes have been used at the base of the pad to protect the environment in this type of application since the late 1980s. HDPE drainage pipes are installed directly over the liner, followed by a layer of granular protective soil over the geomembrane-pipe system to protect the liner during the ore staking process. Solmax has led the way in the use of geomembranes in some of the largest heap leaching operations in the world including gold, silver, copper and uranium heap leach pads.

Here are several factors to consider when deciding which type of geomembrane to use in a Heap Leach Pad:

  • U.V exposure
  • Environmental stress cracking
  • Chemical resistance
  • Minimum thickness
  • Elevated temperature range
  • Duration of the project

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