A New Analytical Solution for Determination of Acceptable Overall settlement of Heap Leaching Structures Foundation

Document Type : Research Paper


1 School of Mining Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran

2 School of Mining, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran

3 Department of Mining Engineering, University of Kashan


There are some artificial and natural materials on foundation of heap leaching structures. Geomembrane liner is the most important artificial isolated layer of these structures. The thickness of this layer is about 1 to 2 mm. Foundation overall settlement of such structures changes the primary length of the geomembrane layer. If the strain of geomembrane is more than allowable one, the layer will be fail and acid will leakage from the heap foundation. In this paper, foundation of the heap leaching structures is modeled with a hyperbolic curve and the length of geomembrane liner will be determined before and after loading. Next, with considering allowable strain of geomembrane materials, acceptable overall settlement of heap foundation is computed. Then, a design chart is presented for quick estimation of acceptable overall settlement of such structures. Finally, foundation overall settlement of a real case study (Tarom heap leaching structure) is determined with this approach. The analysis shows that geomembrane liner of this case may not fail due to foundation overall settlement.