Archives

Archive

Dam Monitoring Effects

Dam monitoring effect is a case history. A client acquired a mining properties portfolio. It included inactive dams at closed mines. Some of these structures were relatively well documented, while others were not. As a result, the client was facing important decisions, one of them being the effort to enhance the knowledge on the structures. The question the client asked was: “What happens to a particular dam if the level of knowledge we have on an inactive dam goes from…

Read More

Tailings dams design and experience

Lately several tailings dam failures rocked the mining world. Despite the relative high frequency of these events we have heard engineers qualify the failures as “one in a million”, “extremely rare” or even “black swans”. Today we want to discuss a few concepts on tailings dams design and experience. In particular, we will focus on some disconcerting qualifiers like the ones we just cited above. For example, given the experience of tailings dams catastrophic failures  resulting from combinations of various…

Read More

Not all risk assessments are created equal

The UNEP “Mine tailings storage: safety is no accident” report asks mining companies to make environmental and human safety a priority. To ensure mining companies meet that result in management actions and ground operations, a residual risk assessment should be performed. For clarity, residual risk assessments are those that intervene after mitigations or critical controls.  However not all risk assessments are created equal so let’s explore the differences. What are the requirements for a good risk assessment? Risk assessments are…

Read More

Catastrophic failures forensic analyses

Catastrophic failures forensic analyses are, most of the time, left in the hand of experiences engineers. At least, that’s the case for tailings dams failures and other catastrophes like major infrastructural accidents and for instance, aviation. Are we sure that is the best way? Normalization of deviance, management and decision-making are oftentimes ingredients of the catastrophic failure buildup, not only “engineering”. So, we dare to say, Independent Panels should include social scientists. They seem to be the most qualified to…

Read More

Tailings dam risk communication

Experience shows that successful risk communications always focuses on planned control measures and precautionary actions rather than on risks. Indeed, like in many other fields, actions speak louder than words. Because actions are what matters to the public. Thus, today, we explore our experience in tailings dam risk communication. In mining, oil and gas and other industries, people demand to know what preventative actions are foreseen. That is even if it is claimed that the likelihood of an accident and…

Read More

Tailings Dams Review Boards and Inspection Reports

Tailings dams review boards and inspection Reports exist because of a voluntary effort by the mining industry to improve and mitigate dams “issues”. In addition, mining companies are under pressure to be more transparent on their “issues”. We discuss below the term “issue”.   UNEP 2017 report and more recently Church of England initiative and ICMM “global code” are all expressions of this growing pressure. Thus, mining companies are requesting the publication of Tailings dams review boards and inspection Reports. Publication…

Read More

ORE2_Tailings Dam Probability of Failure Analysis

ORE2_Tailings Dam Probability of Failure Analysis is the next step in the ORE2_Tailings deployment for a tailings dam. Last week we looked at the causality analysis and the general data structure  enabling the methodology to work. Data for Tailings Dam probability analysis Ancillary water management structures such as weirs, penstock and related tunnel, diversion ditches are described and evaluated including water balance and its “near-misses”. The presence of pipelines at the crest is also part of the potential hazardous elements…

Read More

ORE2_Tailings Potential Failure Causality Analysis

ORE2_Tailings Potential Failure Causality Analysis is one of the features of Riskope’s tailings dam specific application. Indeed ORE2_Tailings looks at the causes of dam failure rather then the reasons why dams fail (the “failure modes”). That is because the root cause of a dam failure is typically the result of a combination of deviances. Recent forensic studies on major catastrophic failures have eloquently demonstrated that. Normalization of deviance Catastrophic failures, like most major accidents are indeed always generated by an…

Read More

Hosted and powered by WR London.