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Regulations or Risk-based regulations for mine waste management

In these days of increased scrutiny by regulators and public opinion pressure we face a conundrum: Regulations or Risk-based regulations for mine waste management? The 2015 South African regulations reportedly specify design standards for mining waste disposal facilities based on the character of waste. As discussed in our recent blog post on mine waste classification systems waste characterization is a measure of the waste hazard and not of the risks generated by those wastes. Regulations based on hazards are ubiquitous…

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Common Cause Failures impact Risks

Today, we look at what happens when Common Cause Failures impact Risks. Common Cause Failures impact Risks defined Common cause failures (CCFs) are almost “simultaneous” failures of specific system’s elements resulting from single shared causes or coupling factor (or mechanisms). By applying the definition above we can immediately see there are two families of CCF: The coupled CCF, i.e. interdependent failures where one element failure drives the failure of another element and The uncoupled CCF where Physical or environment stresses…

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Landslides risk assessment

Natural and man-made slopes portfolio require Landslides risk assessment in order to ensure sustainable management. Slopes present hazardous geo-morphological processes such as landslides which can occur discretely (some deformation, cracking followed by a large movement) or “continuously” (deformations ranging between a few millimeters and several centimeters per years with occasional accelerations followed by a return to “average velocity”). Shall we manage hazards or risks? Any slope, anywhere in the world, has a probability of occurrence (of “first” failure). Continuously sliding…

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proposal for a mine waste classification system

The proposal for a mine waste classification system recently described by Ljiljana Josic and Lawrence Devon Smith fills a blatant (and often costly) gap in the industry standards. Factors like management, legislation and permitting of mining wastes have become driving forces in decisions. NI43-101 and other public disclosure requirements will further boost all related issues. The need for unified and univocal glossary and unequivocal definitions is of course of primary importance. The same occurs in risk management. A proposal for…

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