The Bozymchak gold mine in Zhalalabadskya is operated by Kazakhmys Gold Kyrgyzstan. Kazakhmys’ core business is actually the production of copper and this mine provides copper concentrate to the smelters in neighbouring Kazakhstan. Gold is present within the ore as a by-product and is also extracted for sale.

A series of construction works were being undertaken at the open pit mine in support of mining operations. One such structure was a tailings dam for the safe storage of waste. A discharge channel was needed to contain and convey the fluid waste materials to the treatment facilities.

Difficult geological conditions and a lack of access roads in the surrounding mountainous terrain required a solution which would be impervious to such harsh conditions whilst being robust from an engineering standpoint.

Without the channel, the waste could flow in an uncontrolled manner eroding the surrounding ground and potentially pollute it.

The technical solution accepted includes a 1km-long canal in a trapezoidal shape. Reno Mattresses were used to face the bottom of the channel and to protect the side slopes.

Ease of use of the Reno mattress with local rocky material allowed for construction works to be completed quickly, on time and to the customer’s satisfaction.

Reno Mattresses are double-twist hexagonal steel wire mesh baskets, filled with rock to form flexible, permeable, monolithic structures for river bank and scour protection, channel linings for erosion control. The steel wire used is heavily galvanised and coated with an additional polymer coating to provide added protection for use in aggressive environments. The base, diaphragms, front, end and sides are manufactured from one continuous panel of mesh.

Maccaferri’s design softwares, MAC.R.A. 1 and MAC.R.A. 2 are used to design channels, longitudinal and transverse structures. These enable the designer to rapidly perform preliminary hydraulic studies to evaluate the bank protection (Mac.R.A. 1) or the transverse weir (Mac.R.A. 2) required. An open library of products enables a combination of man-made and natural solutions to be considered.

Maccaferri’s first hydraulic erosion control intervention was on the River Reno, near Bologna, Italy, more than 130 years ago. It is there that the term Reno Mattress® was invented, a term used generically for these applications, yet is actually a registered trademark of Maccaferri. As proven by experience and testing, a Reno Mattress® has the same protection effect as a loose stone layer more than three times thicker.