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Catastrophic dam failures path forward at Tailings and Mine Waste

The keynote lecture Catastrophic dam failures path forward at Tailings and Mine Waste Conference was an enlightening speech. Henry Brehaut corroborated the views Riskope have expressed over the last decade. The validity of our methodological developments is confirmed once again. We are pleased to comment and express some impressions from the keynote lecture. The message Henry Brehaut delivered includes looking at: getting things right, looking at details, identifying gaps and hidden flaws. Finally, reactive catastrophic failure analysis is not the optimum…

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UNEP Tailings Dams report and residual risk assessment

UNEP Tailings Dams report and residual risk assessment discusses the joint UNEP-GRID Arendal assessment entitled “Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident” from a risk assessment point of view. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the report in October 2017 in Geneva. The report urges States and the industry to “end deadly and damaging mining waste spills by enforcing a zero-failure objective”. We believe that this objective requires some additional definitions and details. That is to make it truly…

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Solar Storm hazard and risks

We look today at Solar Storm hazard and risks after discussing Volcanoes and Meteorites. This video shows both X-class flares from June 10, 2014. Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard Like we did for the other “mega” hazards, we will start with a bit of history. “Carrington-class” solar storm hazard and risks On September 1st –2nd 1859, people observed one of the largest recorded geomagnetic storms due to solar activities. Beside anomalous and wide-spread auroras occurrences, telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed,…

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Developing a risk assessment for Asteroids Earth collision

Developing a risk assessment for Asteroids Earth collision is not about knowing when the next big impact of an asteroid on Earth will be. As a matter of fact it is to understand, for example, if: The recent decision (December 2016) by European ministers to decline funding part of the project to intercept a space-rock is reasonable. The aim would be to use the crash to deviate the trajectory. The idea above is reasonable when comparing, for example, other “space”…

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Pelican beak analogy shows enhanced planning benefits

The pelican beak analogy shows enhanced planning benefits. As you probably know it by now, we have expressed skepticism toward using  buzzwords like black swan and others, for numerous reasons. That does not stop us, however, to come out today with another avian analogy. The pelican analogy displays in a simplified manner the capital required by an entity, i.e. a project, startup, basically any endeavor. It displays as the straight orange line. The capital produced in the meantime, i.e. the purple…

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Tailings dam portfolio screening level risk assessment

Tailings dam portfolio screening level risk assessment is the title of our latest paper on this extremely interesting subject. The paper uses a case history to show how we helped management of a complex operation with a portfolio of dams to develop a risk management road-map. In addition uncertainties, incomplete information are always explicitly considered when we deploy tailings dam portfolio screening level risk assessment. Tailings dam portfolio screening level risk assessment The dam portfolio approach addresses managers who have…

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World food reserves worldwide would last 74 days

World food reserves worldwide would last 74 days following UN estimates in 2012. A mega volcano eruption could bring the planet to starvation due to a “volcanic winter”. There are around 20 known super-volcanoes on this planet. Experts think major eruptions have a “frequency” of one every 100,000 years. That is at the threshold of credibility following “industrial” standards. Of course there is great uncertainty in these predictions. For example, Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre…

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Gartner’s Top 10 Factors for Integrated Risk Management Success

I just read Gartner’s Top 10 Factors for Integrated Risk Management Success (here). We have discussed Gartner’s reports (here) and proposed techniques (here) in the past. This time around it is great to see such a convergence of opinions with the philosophy and concepts we have developed over the last twenty years. They constitute the fundamentals to produce and then successfully deploy ORE so many times around the world in various industries. Gartner recommendations and key challenges. Let’s first dive in…

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