Coal Mining

Question:

How are liners used in coal mining operations, and what makes BTL the liner company of choice?

Answer:

In the mining industry, liners are used much in the same way as in energy-related applications. Whether the mine is coal, copper, nickel, silver or something else, there are environmental contamination issues that should be addressed during the development and operation of a mine. Liners are commonly used for containment of fresh water, containment of contaminated waters from production, and under large bulk storage areas of ore. They may also be used as secondary containment around a mining site where fuels, chemicals or certain types of machinery are stored.

Fresh water is contained and used for a host of reasons around a mining site. Many mining companies use fresh water for dust mitigation, but primarily they use it for cleaning the ore, which introduces potentially dangerous contaminants into the water. Contaminated water can also be created from a number of other scenarios at a mine—the most common is runoff from the large bulk storage area where water used to keep ore moist can seep through the pile. Such water is captured by liners that underlie the ore pit and is directed to a separate collection and storage area. Produced water is a by-product of operations as miners encounter aquifers or ground water. This water must also be contained due to toxic contaminants.

Our proprietary BTL-40 is the preferred material for such projects because its properties, including puncture resistance, are superior to 40 mil HDPE and all other reinforced polyethylene liners. Our five layer BTL-40 also has ArmorKote™ added, for superior abrasion resistance and bonding properties. BTL’s liners are 100% fabricated in the U.S. from North American sources.

Fig. 1 is an almost completed bulk storage area for a coal mine. This area will be used to either store coal ore as it is mined or store the material that is left over from the mining operation. The purpose of the liner is to capture runoff that could be laced with toxic chemicals. In this application, we first lay down a heavy (16oz) non-woven geotextile to protect the liner from the underlying ground. We then lay our durable 40-mil double scrim reinforced polyethylene (BTL-40), and then cover that with a lighter layer of 8oz non-woven geotextile to help protect the liner from the covering material that will be placed on top. When finished, the entire bulk storage area will then be covered with 18” of screened soil. At that point, the area will be ready to accept the ore or other contaminated material.

Fig. 2 is one of two large water storage ponds— one of the water storage ponds is for fresh water and the other is for contaminated water. Both have the same 16oz non-woven geotextile under the liner for long-term protection from ground that has gravel or other coarse material in it.

For this project, BTL installed approx. 625,000 SF of BTL-40 and 1,200,000 SF of geotextile fabrics in 9 days on site. Our expertise, commitment to quality and superior products means we offer guaranteed containment and quick turnaround for all your critical projects.

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