November 24, 2017

Kaytech’s geotextiles used at South Africa’s first manganese mine

Bidim secured in a lock trench

Kaytech proudly supplied one of its world-renowned geotextiles for the groundbreaking new Kalagadi Mine situated near Hotazel in the Northern Cape. As the first manganese mine owned by a South African black woman, it is also the first to be started from scratch by a team of women and the project comprises a mine, a smelter and a massive sinter plant.

Constructed by Group 5, the mine includes a 150 000m2 waste water containment dam that has been lined with a 1.5mm HDPE geomembrane installed by Aquatan Lining Systems. The need for effective protection of the liner led to the specification of Kaytech’s heavy grade bidim A6.

Manufactured from 100% recycled polyester, bidim is a continuous filament, nonwoven, needlepunched geotextile offering distinct advantages over other man-made fibres. For this application the mechanical process of needlepunching imparts functional benefits including an appreciable thickness, high porosity even under heavy loads, high drainage capacity and a high resistance to puncture, tearing and burst.

Kalagadi Manganese boasts green technology while its 2.4-million-ton-per-annum sinter plant is said to be one of the largest in the world. It is envisioned that this huge enterprise, situated on one of the world’s largest manganese ore belts, will generate international wealth for South Africa.

On completion of the project, 150 000m2 of bidim A6 was installed by Aquatan Lining Systems as liner protection. The resistance of heavy grade bidim to abrasion and piercing, while still retaining a high tensile strength, makes it the ideal cushioning protection either above or below geomembrane liners, while its ease and speed of installation compared to sand protection layers, is another significant advantage in liner protection.

Versatile bidim is also the ideal geotextile for filtration, sub-soil drainage, structural drainage, erosion control, separation/stabilisation, reinforcement of soil slopes, protection of railtrack ballast, and road maintenance.

As bidim has 100% recycled polyester content, use of the geotextile in a multitude of projects results in a significant amount of post-consumer beverage bottles not reaching landfill. Bidim is produced from recycled PET bottles, supplied to Kaytech in flake form. Over 1 581 000 recycled bottles were used to produce the bidim for the Kalagadi Mine project.

It is very fitting that bidim, a proudly South African manufactured product, was used at this groundbreaking, proudly South African enterprise.

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