TMW2022 discussion and video presentation

TMW2022 discussion and video presentation

Nov 16th, 2022

TMW2022 discussion and video presentation covers some important points and coveys our gratitude to the friendly colleagues that helped us overcome a significant work overload.

Tailings risk assessment methods comparison, TMW2022 discussion and video presentation

Indeed, for the first time since 2013, we could not make it to the conference to present in person the results of our R&D. We were particularly sorry for this, as the reviewer wrote:

  • The authors present a discussion on how to optimize actions needed to address risk mitigation to ALARP for a large TSF portfolio.
  • The aspect of addressing a company’s complete portfolio is very interesting and likely highly relevant and necessary as company’s need to make risk-informed decisions for their entire portfolio in addition to individual TSFs.

Expression of our gratitude

Let’s start with the expression of our gratitude to Marcelo Llano who kindly accepted to present the paper for us. Marcelo, we have got excellent feed-back on your presentation from our “intelligence service”.  We want to thank you once more for your kind cooperation!

Secondly, we want to thank our friend Colleen Crystal. Years ago we had the pleasure to see Colleen sitting at one of our courses on Tailings Dams Quantitative Risk Assessment. Since then, we have worked together on some very interesting cases. We really appreciated her sharing with us the ideas brought forward by Erik Halprin at the TMW2022 workshop that Colleen co-chaired (Andy Small, Jiri Herza among others).

A sad note on tailings dams failures

Another significant tailings dams failure has occurred in Africa (Another tailings dam failure: the Williamson Mine in Tanzania – The Landslide Blog – AGU Blogosphere). It is the second in a couple months.

These events occur with an unfortunately high frequency since records exist. If our industry wants to avoid destroying any more of our credibility, we must act and act fast! The GISTM standard is going in that direction. However we also must predict what dams are more prone to failure, and where the largest risks are located. Prediction needs to be quantitative, not just verbiage. In addition they need to include the effects of climate change and other extreme events.

Interesting discussion and our presentation

The presentation by Erik Halprin of on the State of Practice for Risk Assessment at the November 6th full day workshop at TMW 2022 showed that: 

  • one cannot manage risks solely with common practice and standards-based approaches; and
  • mining industry is twenty years behind best risk management practices 

These are very interesting points of discussion which likely made some delegates balk. Indeed, as we have pointed out several times, codes are not sufficient to deliver risk mitigation. For instance, even the application of GISTM offers no warranties.

Now, in our paper and presentation.

We show that the mining industry has the means to fill that gap Mr. Harpin highlighted. We, as an industry, have the methods and the answers, but the uptake is generally slow. We notice however that several major companies around the world are starting to listen. That’s the reason why we were not able to get to the conference!

Closing remarks on TMW2022 discussion and video presentation

We, as an industry, have the ethical and professional duty to protect the environment and people.

Climate change, extreme events should be quantitatively included in our analyses during service life, closure and post closure.

We, as an industry, cannot afford paralysis by analysis.

We have to face the uncertainties and express them with numbers that can be explained and updated. The time of:

  • “esoteric mumbled out engineering statements”,
  • “we know what we are doing because we have the experience”,  and finally
  • “we will do because it is common practice”

should be over.

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Category: Consequences, ORE2_Tailings, Probabilities, Risk analysis, Risk management, Tolerance/Acceptability

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