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Tailings and Mine Waste 2018 risk the good the bad and the ugly

Tailings and Mine Waste 2018 risk the good the bad and the ugly

Oct 10th, 2018

Like we did in London last year, here are our Tailings and Mine Waste 2018 risk the good the bad and the ugly.

Tailings and Mine Waste 2018 risk the good the bad and the ugly

The good

  • It was very good to hear the John Lupo Keynote Lecture develop ideas about risk and the human element. He introduced to the audience biases and cognitive biases. He was able to get some amused reactions from the audience as he was explaining very important concepts. Let’s see if anyone will remember anything from his very important and informative speech in a couple years.
  • We loved to hear people say “a Riskope course should be mandatory to authors writing on risk”! That was a big encouragement to keep working at our mission: to better the industry thanks to rational and well balanced quantitative risk informed decision making .

Finally, we were delighted to see the interest of the delegates to our short course. We presented this course in cooperation with Maxar/MDA.

This unique “first in the world” course delivered the participants skills they will be able to use in their day to day risk assessments while illustrating our flagship methodology ORE and the specific ORE2_Tailings mining subset.

The bad

It is indeed sad that twenty years into the XXI century we see:

  • Papers generally using risk, risk informed decision-making and other technical words as mere buzz-words, with no methodological substance behind.
  • An ubiquitous lack of compliance to a well established risk technical glossary aside perhaps one or two exceptions. Twenty years ago (1997) we participated in a IUGS workshop in Honolulu aimed at a first attempt to define a Glossary of risk-related technical terms specific to Slopes and Landslides which can be easily used for mining and general risk assessments as shown in https://www.riskope.com/knowledge-centre/tool-box/glossary/. Instead people keep “inventing” new definitions, and the result is, for example:
    • confusing risks with their consequences or calling hazards assessments risks assessments.
    • Calling height of a dam an “indicator of impending failure”! If that was true, then dam-breaks would have obliterated many countries in Europe. Furthermore we should not see so many “short” dams (say 30m-40m) fail while “taller” structures” perform very well.

The Ugly

  • People merrily using NPV for alternative comparisons, then, happily, showing it may be misleading for very long term (rehabilitation) works.
  • People forgetting to say a major flaw of NPV is that it does not include risks, contrary to risk adjusted cost estimates methods like CDA_ESM and others.

Tailings and Mine Waste 2018 risk the good the bad and the ugly

Tailings and Mine Waste 2018 risk the good the bad and the ugly delivers a bitter-sweet end result.

From Riskope’s perspective we are more than ever motivated to continue in our mission and the launch of the ORE2_Tailings application is precisely the expression of our commitment.

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Category: Consequences, Risk analysis, Risk management

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