Geosynthetics February/March 2021 - 20

Bituminous geomembranes for ponds in mining

the liner's ability to resist wind uplift and
wind-generating waves, as well as the
ruggedness of the site.
The heaviest BGM with a mass of
1.23 psi (6 kg/m2) was selected to prevent
wind erosion generated by waves on the
dam embankment. The ruggedness and
puncture resistance of the BGM means
that rocks could be placed directly on top
of the liner at the base of the slope, preventing uplift of the liner. The liner was
placed into an anchor trench at the top of
the slope and installed at an ambient air
temperature of 102˚F (39˚C) (Figure 9).

Conclusion

FIGURE 8 Concrete passageway to spill the process water directly from the Rusal
Alumina factory at 194°F (90°C) to the clarifier pond, Ireland

FIGURE 9 Process water pond remediation
in Queensland, Australia

18

Geosynthetics | February March 2021

requirements by the Environmental
Protection Agency of Ireland, RUSAL
Alumina decided to upgrade the lining
of the clarifier pond by installing BGM.
The overall scope involved the site setup
and the removal and disposal of existing
semisolid wastes. The final elements of
the project involved pouring a 6-inch
(150-mm) deep asphalt concrete slab over
the entire base for regular maintenance
cleaning works (Figure 8).
A shale gas project in Queensland,
Australia, required a high resistance to
heat for the installation and storage of
water between 158°F and 194°F (70°C
and 90°C). The embankment of this
large process water pond belongs to
the Queensland Gas Corp. and needed
remediation, because the clay in the
embankment was dispersive and was
eroding. The pond required 1.05 miles
(1.7 km) of embankment to be remediated and covered to prevent future
erosion. The main considerations in
choosing a liner for this application were

BGM has been used successfully for more
than 40 years in hydraulics and environmental protection applications. BGM
possesses high physical and mechanical
properties, allowing it to remain exposed.
Its installation is straightforward, using
propane-torch welding, and its high unit
weight allows it to be installed in rough
weather conditions with local installers trained by the manufacturer on-site,
with no wrinkling due to temperature
variations. Subgrade preparation for this
liner is reduced to the minimum, and
there is no need for geotextile cushion
layers. Finally, maintenance is easy and
can be performed by an on‐site maintenance team.
The BGM applications mentioned in
this paper were done to the satisfaction
of international consultants and owners
(public and private) on time and without
delays due to bad weather, low temperatures or strong winds.
References
ASTM D1204. Standard Test Method for Linear
Dimensional Changes of Nonrigid Thermoplastic
Sheeting or Film at Elevated Temperature,
American Society for Testing and Materials, West
Conshohocken, Pa.
ASTM D1505. Standard Test Method for Density of Plastics
by the Density-Gradient Technique, American Society for
Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken, Pa.



Geosynthetics February/March 2021

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