ORE2-Tailings dam analysis

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis

May 2nd, 2018

Welcome to ORE2-Tailings dam analysis

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis delivers value to the mining industry. In addition it supports communication between owners, regulators and the public.

That is quickly and at affordable costs

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis is beneficial for those who:

  • design,
  • permit,
  • construct,
  • operate,
  • insure and finally, perhaps
  • close,tailings/waste storage facilities in the mining and oil & gas extraction industry.

Why ORE2-Tailings dam analysis?

The key note lecture by Henry Brehaut at TMW2017 stated that “….clearly, the need emerges to develop risk assessments that are detailed and updatable, that allow determining residual risks (after mitigation)… and draw rational and sensible mitigative road maps”.

Clearly, the “good old ways” (a.k.a. Common practices, still considered by some “best practices”) do not make the cut anymore in tailings management.

Also, the recent UNEP report entitled “Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident” asks mining companies to make environmental and human safety a priority in management actions and on-the-ground operations by requiring:

  • detailed and ongoing evaluations of potential failure modes,

  • residual risks (UNEP uses this term to indicate the risks after known mitigation) assessments and perpetual costs of waste storage facilities.

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis uses Riskope’s ORE platform for Quantitative Risk Assessment (©Oboni Riskope Associates Inc.). It delivers value to the extraction industry and regulators by clearly showing risk mitigation road maps including possible different alternatives.

ORE2-Tailings delivers value to the extraction industry and regulators. This is done by including world-wide bench-marking with over hundred years data and comparison to recent major mishaps. Space observation “rich data” gathered through our cooperation agreement with MDA, the leading provider of SAR imagery, will offer enhanced opportunities to improve the initial risk modelling estimates. MDA provides reliable high quality data for InSAR services and advanced analytics of both SAR and optical data sets.

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis is:

  • Updatable, as soon as implementation or design selections are made risks can be updated quickly and affordably.

  • Scalable, whether your project is at pre-feasibility or at reclamation the same data base and model is progressively scaled-up.

  • Drillable, you get exactly the data you are looking for — quantified and prioritized- and finally,

  • Convergent, you get all the risks relative one to another. So, no more silo with H&S risks separated from Community risks or Strategic risks, etc.

The bottom line — ORE2-Tailings a powerful tool that enables miners and governments to perform Risk Informed Decision Making, from a single dam up to a large portfolio.

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis makes it possible to define a sustainable risk mitigation road-map for a dam portfolio.

ORE2-Tailings helps identifying emerging crises; check and update alert thresholds and finally, in timely and systematic manner, update probabilities and all other significant hazards and risk parameters. This allows you to understand where projects or operations stand in term of risk mitigation at any stages and almost in real-time pace, if and when required.

Unique Features

Dam failures generally are the result of a series of deviances. ORE2-Tailings dam analysis examines thirty diagnostic nodes (from inception to the date of analysis) to deliver the estimated annual probability of failure of dams. This wide spectrum approach gives a balanced view of the expected performances and allows ORE2-Tailings dam analysis to benchmark each dam in respect to world-wide portfolio of dams and also recent failures.

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis The horizontal axis shows the dams of a real life sample dam portfolio. The four left green bars correspond to benchmarking values, namely: Mount Polley and Samarco annual probability of failure evaluated with the ORE2-Tailings methodology, the min-max values of the worl-wide portfolio based on historic records and the values obtained by a Ph.D. Thesis at UBC which attempted a theoretical estimate of the annual probability of failure of standard and dewatered tailings. The vertical axis bears the annual probability of failure. For each structure a yellow bar depicts the Uncertainty related to the probability estimate. The portfolio bench-marking shows that in the considered case there are dams below the historic benchmark. Some overlap the benchmarks limits and some are above the upper limit, however still significantly lower than the Mount Polley or Samarco estimates. Additional studies and information allow to narrow the uncertainties (length of the yellow bars). Mitigation will push the bar down. Long term lack of maintenance, climate change effects will tend to push the bars up. The combination of this graph with the cost functions for each dam gives the risks (see next figure). Interdependent dams can be analyzed and their effect included in the portfolio analysis.

Furthermore, as inter-dependencies can cause amplification effects within a dam portfolio, ORE2-Tailings elegantly tackles this problem and delivers a meaningful vision by evaluating the probability of dominoes effects and their amplified consequences.

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis foresees the development of a portfolio-specific risk tolerance threshold, allowing users to determine which risks actually really matter in a portfolio.

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis In this graph various scenarios for “Dam 1” are displayed. Dam 1 mitigation shifts the risks downwards. Climate change effects increase the risks of the same Structure. Lifts will also increase the risks as Losses will also increase. Finally inter-dependency between Dam 1 and 2 will generate the largest losses, but at a lower annual probability.

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis includes a multidimensional consequence function as consequences are generally multifaceted. This enables the integrated comparison of Project Execution, Community, Legal, Environmental, Financial, Technical and H&S Risks. This convergent risk vision fosters healthy discussions and helps your organization build consensus on decisions at operational, tactical and strategic level.


ORE2-Tailings dam analysis can:

  •  expand to include MDA’s optical and InSAR Space Observation data input and deliver regular updates of the portfolio risks.

  •  accommodate particular types of inter-dependencies within a single dam which are normally ignored by other methodologies.

  • include detailed dam break analyses.

Closing remarks

ORE2-Tailings dam analysis—a powerful Methodology

twenty years in the making and testing— is now available!

This diverse and adaptable tool is already delivering value to the mining world, and addressing the complex corporate and societal demands of the XXI century.

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Category: Consequences, Hazard, Optimum Risk Estimates, Probabilities, Risk analysis, Risk management, Tolerance/Acceptability

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