Disposal of mine tailings is one of the most important environmental issues for any mining project. To control the release of tailing materials, which are the waste product left over from a mineral-processing plant, a tailings dam or pond is created to contain the waste. As tailings commonly contain un-mineralised sulphides that can breakdown and release metals that can generate acidic conditions, they can represent a significant environmental hazard. To line the tailings dams or ponds, geomembranes are used to protect the environment and prevent contamination of soils and groundwater tables.
HDPE is the most commonly used geomembrane for this application due to its chemical resistance.