Geosynthetics are man-made materials that can be used by mines to improve the properties of soil and rock. Different types of geosynthetics can be designed and implemented for various purposes on the mine site.
A primary example are geomembranes, which are impermeable plastic sheets that are used to control and limit seepage of contaminants from mine wastes to the environment.
By 2018, the market for geosynthetics is expected to reach $18 billion, growing at a CAGR of 11.9% from 2013. This is because demand for environmental protection is growing, especially in the wake of the Mt. Polley tailings disaster in the summer of 2014.