Updating tailings dam Quantitative Risk Assessment and Space Observation

Updating tailings dam Quantitative Risk Assessment and Space Observation

Sep 18th, 2018

At the TMW2018 course we will show that updating tailings dam Quantitative Risk Assessment and Space Observation is synergistic and beneficial.

The coupling allows feeding enhanced data into a a priori risk assessment and to deliver on a regular basis updated risk assessments. Thus it is possible to answer modern requirements with economy of means.

Updating tailings dam Quantitative Risk Assessment and Space Observation

Here are the four steps necessary to build such a system.

1) After defining the list of dams of interest, the analyst needs to receive all available documentation, coordinates, reports, etc. Defining the system is a fundamental step which requires lots of attention at inception. The understanding of the multidimensional consequences and the system’s failure/success criteria definition are paramount. For example, oftentimes tailings dam’s failure means different things to different stakeholders. e.g. engineer or regulators. Adherence to a  uniform Glossary is paramount. Indeed what constitute a success from an engineering point of view might be of limited interest or value to other stakeholders.

2) Based on the documentation and observations a preliminary risk assessment is then possible. During this deployment existing and missing information are evaluated and a request for further information is sent to the client. If that information is definitely not available or becomes available, it enters in the evaluation respectively in negative or positive way. Of course an historic approach using Space Observation databases is possible, to attempt to gain a better level of knowledge.

3) After the second round the client can receive an image of the relative risks generated by the portfolio. That is with recommendations relative to future monitoring and possibly mitigation ideas. The a priori risk assessment is used for risk informed decision-making on mitigation. Once mitigations are decided (and implemented) a a priori residual risk assessment is prepared. The residual risk assessment‘s risk register quantitatively integrates the data with mitigation leading to calculate the residual risks.

4) Future monitoring recommendations can follow classic instrumentation, or Space Observation (Optical, InSAR), or any blend of the two approaches. Thanks to Space Observation the updates of the risks and monitoring of the structures can be very competitive. It is possible to convene dates for regular updates during specific duration.

Closing remarks

Whether the client is a regulatory agency or a miner, the Tailings 2.0 results foster rational and healthy discussions on a transparent base we can facilitate if required. This will help fostering Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and maintaining Social License to Operate (SLO), while covering some of the needs of NI 43-101.

If the Quantitative Risk Assessment produces scalable, drillable, convergent risk assessments, there will be no data loss or waste. Thus the risk register should  further detail areas where information is more abundant, while uncertainties will be transparently show-up in areas with scarce information. The risk register will be ready to grow with the project/operation and will already support a priori decision making for mitigations.

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Category: Risk analysis, Risk management

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