A group of Dutch firms has collaborated to develop the Smart Tailings concept, which manages residual rocks obtained during coal, oil or metal extraction.
Such waste can pose ecological problems in the globe. To overcome these issues, the Smart Tailings idea addresses the challenges of implementing large-scale rehabilitation projects by supplying an advanced remediation design, which is based on improved monitoring and site survey methods.
The consortium, led by TenCate Geosynthetics and Witteveen+Bos, provides know-how on risk assessment and remediation design. It receives monitoring and measuring methods from Witteveen+Bos and TenCate Geosynthetics. These firms share knowledge and provide a better understanding on how to manage mine tailings effectively.
According to Witteveen+Bos’ Managing Director, Harry Webers, by implementing the collective expertise of the Smart Tailings consortium, Witteveen+Bos, and TenCate Geosynthetics on the activity that takes place at the mine tailings site, corrective measures can be increased effectively and the related expenditures can be brought down. Webers added that the company is well positioned to apply this novel remediation and rehabilitation techniques on the safety and environmental problems of mine tailings.
Majority of mine tailings are kept in large valleys or basins at the back of dams. Understanding the processes that take place in the solid mine waste and the deposited tailings may require tailings specific solutions like implementing substitute covers as TenCate Geosynthetics applied at the Volgermeerpolder landfill near Amsterdam. Here, the company offered a geosynthetic solution called TenCate GeoDetect. This solution employs a special sensor technology, which comprises instrumentation equipment, a composite geotextile fabric, a data acquisition software and fiber optics.
TenCate Geosynthetics’ Group Director, Wally Moore stated that the company focuses on offering integrated solutions that address geotechnical challenges via an advanced technique. Combining the company’s sensoring and geosynthetic technology with partners like Witteveen+Bos provides a unique approach to find out possible problems in its Water and Environment business’ mine tailings section.
Using TenCate Geotube technology, tailings specific solutions can be implemented across the globe for sediment and sludge dewatering and also in reinforcement applications.