Phu Kham Rubber Lining

Phu Kham Rubber Lining


Phu Kham is located approximately 120km north of the Laos capital, Vientiane. The Copper source is beneath an oxide gold cap, which is the ore source for the associated Pan Asia Heap Leach Gold operation. Production of copper is in the form of a concentrate, which is transported from Laos and processed further to extract the pure copper. Projected output is 60,000 tonnes of copper per year.

Operating Conditions

The treatment of primary ore to extract copper is a chemical process using leach technologies and strong acids such Sulphuric Acid. The ore is processed as slurry and has signifcant erosive qualities. The plant at Phu Kham is a small plant made up of mainly steel tanks and associated structures.

The project is in a remote mountainous location with heavy rainfall and high humidity. Phu Kham project was a logistical challenge and special heavy duty protection was used to protect the areas from rainfall and maintain the tight installation schedule.

Special Requirements

Traditionally in mining Natural Rubber is used as a cost effective solution to line pipes and vessels because of the high erosion and chemical protection required. In the case of the 2 tanks lined by Trepax precured Butyl Rubber was recommended as it had to be site applied and normal curing methods could not be used as when applied in a workshop environment.

Corrosion Protection

Constant immersion of the tank surfaces in corrosive media meant a high quality lining system had to be used to realize the 20 year lifetime goal of the project. This lining as well as resisting corrosion had to withstand high erosion and maintain suffcient thickness to meet the projects service life.


A 4mm application of pre-cured Butyl Rubber Sheet was applied to all surfaces including the tank walls, floors, baffles, agitator, manholes and nozzles. Two types of rubber sheet were used a high abrasion grade from the floor up to past the agitator and a normal grade to the rest of the areas.

The rubber sheet was applied to the Filter Feed and Limestone Slurry Tanks.

Project Details

Location Phu Kham, Laos PDR
Project Phu Kham Copper Mine
Owner Pan Australia Public Company Limited
EPC Ausenco Public Company Limited
Date 2007
Work Filter Feed & Limestone Slurry Tanks
System Rubber Lining
Area 1,100 m2
Value US$ 200,000