Water Catchment Lining for Mine Site in Paraburdoo

Polytech Plastics was initially approached for our plastic welding expertise but ended up designing and implementing an innovative solution to a difficult problem.

Our client North West Mining approached us for our experience in plastic sheet welding on behalf of a large iron mining company in Paraburdoo. They asked us to advise and train their staff to line the water catchment pond to hold water and restrict chemicals from leaching into the environment. Our  went to the mine site as planned to provide welding training for the North West Mining team, but ended up implementing a better solution to solve the ongoing issues. After he assessed the task, Freddy realised the planned solution was not going to retain the water as required and further preparation of the surface was needed before progressing with the project.

Following a year of delays and inadequate solutions, this project had a tight turn around to get the lining in place. North West Mining required a supplier they could trust to accurately carry out the project on their behalf within 15 days. We pulled it off in 11 – even though before any work could begin we had to carry out inductions for the three involved companies.

The 60m x 60m storage pond is used to distribute water throughout the site but without proper lining, the client was experiencing significant waste and leaching into the environment. We supplied and installed 1mm thick HDP liners for the area which required careful planning to install without damaging the plastic. Treading on it against the rough dirt could easily tear the material so we had to carefully roll it out while adding sand on top to secure it.

The real challenge was the weather conditions on site – we were up against strong winds and 42 degree days as well as the time pressure. On day one we had 30% of the liners out when the wind picked everything up and undid all of our efforts. Three days later we had repaired the damage and got 60% through the task when a storm came through the site, ripped up the lining again and tore it on the surrounding fence. This happened three times within the 11-day timeline!

In the end, our client North West Mining and their iron ore mining client were completely satisfied with the project – they finally had a positive outcome after such a long period of issues. We supplied a simple solution that reduced time and costs compared to the over-engineered plans that were proposed. Our customer promise is based on honesty and reliability – we’re not afraid to tell our clients when a plan won’t work. We’ll always collaborate to find a better solution that gets the job done right the first time.

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