Mining Application Solutions

Unmatched Customizability to Fit Your Site's Unique Needs

Mining has been beneficial to our society by providing the metals used in numerous industries. The proper reclamation of sites after the useful life of a mining operation is key to good environmental stewardship and geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) have played an increasingly important role. The use of GCLs can be more cost effective and can reduce the construction time that would normally be required using conventional materials. 


CETCO GCLs are a win for your budget and the environment.



Mining site concerns

Protecting the environment is a key concern in mining site management. Mine tailings and spoils often contain harmful chemicals and metals that can be carried in run-off or leachate. So they must be properly stored to prevent the risk of environmental contamination.


Containment of potential contaminants, then, is a key challenge for any mining site. Traditionally, compacted clay liners (CCLs) have been used to mitigate contamination risks. But over time, sites around the world have transitioned to GCLs due to their ease of installation, cost effectiveness, overall performance, and resistance to many physical and climatic issues that often occur with CCLs.


World-class solutions for your unique challenges

Several million square feet of GCLs have been installed in mining applications. A GCL is an engineered hydraulic barrier consisting of high-swelling sodium bentonite clay bonded to a geosynthetic material or encapsulated between layers of geosynthetic materials. The mining industry has been utilizing geosynthetics mainly for containment and reinforcement applications where regulatory or economic factors dictate. 


GCLs can extend the construction season beyond that previously attainable with CCLs. A number of studies have revealed that CCLs can undergo increases of several orders of magnitude change in hydraulic conductivity when exposed to freeze-thaw cycling. Upon thawing, CCLs can create cracks whereas GCLs can withstand 20 freeze-thaw cycles with no deterioration in hydraulic conductivity. 


Featuring our proprietary, high-density needlepunching construction, CETCO GCLs encapsulate high-quality bentonite or our patented polymer-modified bentonite between geotextiles to produce GCLs with industry-leading shear strength performance to meet the slope stability demands commonly found in mining applications. CETCO GCLs outperform compacted clay liners in both performance and ease-of-installation. 


The exact solutions for your project

CETCO offers a range of products that conform to industry-recognized standards: 

  • RESISTEX® GCL: Polymer-modified bentonite GCLs are engineered to provide the highest level of chemical compatibility for hydraulic barrier performance in extremely aggressive leachate environments. Our RESISTEX GCL family offers compatibility with a wide range of pH, electrical conductivity, and ionic strengths that are common to mining liquids. CETCO recommends project-specific compatibility testing for the proper selection from the RESISTEX family of GCLs.

Bauxite Residual StorageEvaporation/Retention Basins
Leach PadsCapping

  • BENTOMAT®  GCL: Sodium bentonite-based GCLs provide an excellent hydraulic barrier in applications where leachate in direct contact with the GCL is relatively non-aggressive, or in composite lining applications where the GCL is overlain by a thermally welded geomembrane and hydrates from the uptake of innocuous moisture from the subgrade. 

ImpoundmentsLeach Pads


  • Composite Laminates: Bonded to the core of BENTOMAT GCLs or RESISTEX GCLs, CETCO offers either smooth membrane laminate (CL) or textured membrane laminate (CLT) to provide composite liner performance in a single product deployment. CETCO uses polyethylene membrane laminates produced via blown-film or calendar processes.Applications:
Bauxite Residual StorageEvaporation/Retention Basins
Leach Pads
Secondary Containment


  • C-GARD: An innovative geosynthetic composite for applications where protection and cushioning to prevent puncture and other damage to the primary geosynthetic liner system is needed. In comparison to ordinary nonwoven geotextiles, CETCO C-GARD offers superior protection, and lays flat when deployed for intimate contact with the primary liner. It is an ideal solution for superior protection of the primary geosynthetic liner system for mining leach pads.


The insight and help you need

Our experience and application knowledge provide you insight into project design. In addition to offering high quality products, CETCO provides unparalleled technical support. Our multi-disciplinary technical staff are recognized subject matter experts, fluent in our products and technologies with application experience throughout the world. We are here to provide solutions for your project challenges. Contact your local CETCO technical sales manager about any of our environmental products for your next project.


CETCO - Pioneer and leader in environmental products

CETCO is the leader and pioneer in cutting-edge environmental solutions. Around the globe for the last half-century, our innovative teams of clay mineralogists, chemists, and polymer scientists transform ordinary minerals into extraordinary technology to solve day-to-day problems worldwide.





    Drop-In Spec

    We build all of our GCLs to be compliant with GRI-GCL3 and their guide specifications can be found for use on the Geosynthetic Institute website.