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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…

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Slope Failure Definition

Slope Failure definition is the second step of a slope risk assessment. The first step is, of course, system definition. It is indeed paramount to clearly state what is considered the success of the slope under consideration. Indeed, unless one clearly defines success, failure remains an ambiguous term (Adams, 2015). Generally we define the success of a slope as the fact that: it stands as built and does not afflict operations (traffic, ore recovery, business interruption, H&S). it features slow…

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Deception of Credible scenario

Personal human experience, bounded rationality and deception of credible scenario are important in the context of risk identification.   Risk identification is a fundamental phase of a risk assessment. It intervenes after system and objectives definition. Oftentimes we hear that practitioners consider only credible scenarios in a risk identification exercise. Today we explore why only considering credible scenario is a deception and could lead you to disaster. Incidentally, this might be one of the reasons leading numerous unrealistic risk assessment…

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Antifragile resilient solutions for tactical and strategic planning

We recently discussed with a client Antifragile resilient solutions for tactical and strategic planning. The theme is interesting and warrants publication this week as it raises a number of interesting issues. We use Rx to indicate our client’s Remarks, and Ax to indicate the our related Answers. Fragile – Robust – Antifragile systems R1) I think there is value in characterizing systems into the three groupings that Taleb presented. That is, Fragile – Robust – Antifragile. Because it gets engineering…

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Marcus Aurelius stoicism and COVID-19 epidemic

Marcus Aurelius stoicism and COVID-19 epidemic reactions are deeply linked. As famously stated by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and philosopher: “Things do not touch the soul.” Also, for example: “Focus on what you can act, the rest is negative noise.” These deceptively simple statements are keystones of the Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius meant that we are not victims of events, people, or things, but by the opinions we form of them. As he put it, “our perturbations come only from…

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Risk evaluation for dam break

A client asked us to perform a risk evaluation for dam break methodological review. As a result we reviewed risk guidelines regarding the public living or working in the inundation zone of a dam. Ultimately, the goal is to help decide tolerable risk vs. relocation of potentially impacted homes or livelihoods. As a matter of fact, we think this is an important subject and have thus decided to publish it. In Section 1 we review the procedure leading to risk-informed…

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The fall of the Roman empire, asymmetrical attacks, and modern mining

At Riskope we see impressive similarities between the fall of the Roman empire, asymmetrical attacks, and modern mining. The fall of the Roman empire, asymmetrical attacks The Western Roman empire, the one headquartered in Rome, was brought down little by little by the compounded effect of numerous factors and hazards. Among them we can cite: internal political problems, barbarian invasions, economic crises and finally, other demographic and social factors. The Eastern Roman Empire, i.e. the Byzantine extension, ended-up collapsing under…

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Threat from and threat to concepts

In our courses we always introduce the Threat from and threat to concepts because they apply to risk assessment and risk management. Oftentimes engineers and technical people have a “facility-centric” approach. This means they see the facility they are studying as a potential source of hazard exposures. In mining, this means looking for example at the pit or tailings as the sources of hazards to “the environment”. Thus, oftentimes the analysts see the facility as generating threats to the population,…

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