Cobriza, Peru tailings dam failure

Cobriza, Peru tailings dam failure occurred at Cobriza in Peru on July 10th   2019.  Cobriza is a copper mine. Reportedly “the concentrator was operated at a rate quite below its capacity due to lack of mine ore and lately (2016 and 2017) due to lack of capacity in the tailings dam“.  The plant is also subject to a highly controversial liquidation. Media invoke poor management as a cause of the failure. Google Earth image of the Cobriza mine tailings in Peru. The failed…

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Reporting climate risks

Reporting climate risks will become routine. Reporting climate risks means to publish what risks businesses face from climate change. Climate risk reporting may remain voluntary, an act linked to CSR (Corporate social responsibility) fostering SLO (Social License to Operate). However, the future may also go in the direction of compulsory reporting, perhaps as part of a document similar to NI43-101 or ad hoc documentation. Britain is the first G7 country to sign into law a requirement to reach net zero…

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Framing probabilities of new normal patterns

Framing probabilities of new normal patterns is oftentimes necessary. For example when geopolitical changes, climate change, etc., alter long term “normal” patterns. Oftentimes that occurs with seemingly repeated extreme events. The probabilities in the “New normal” may significantly alter the risk landscape around a project or a corporation. They may transform tolerable risks into intolerable ones, tactical risks into strategic ones (see figure below). To ensure decision-makers and management can keep optimizing tactical and strategic planning a rational, emotionless update…

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Risk triage, bundling and mitigation roadmaps

Risk triage, bundling and mitigation roadmaps shows how to define strategic, tactical risk and develop an actionable risk integrated framework for projects, operations and corporations. The text constitutes Chapter 8 of the book Global Hot Spots, Caltrop Press. Its title is A Practical Integrated Risk Framework For Projects, Operations And Corporations.  Risk triage, bundling and mitigation roadmaps Readers go through a real-life case risk register. They read about a common practice risks assessment and triage (heat map, PIGs, etc.) and…

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Risk Assessments Strategy and Strategic planning

Risk Assessments Strategy and Strategic planning is inspired by a book entitled Strategy for Executives. In that book strategy is defined as “a compendium of deliberate choices that an organization makes to maximize its value over a given period of time”. Defining Strategy and meaning of risks We like the book’s dynamic definition of strategy. Moreover, it fits very well with our definition of strategic risks which derives from the use of explicit risk tolerance thresholds in the ORE methodology.…

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Probabilities statistics and rate of failure

Probabilities statistics and rate of failure data in literature demand caution even if delving in reputable databases seems to offer a very simple path. Indeed, one of the cornerstones of risk assessments is assessing probabilities of failure of different components. Classic sources examples are: Component Reliability Data for Use in Probabilistic Safety Assessment,” IAEA-TECDOC-478, International Atomic Energy Agency (Oct. 1988), (Link to document) and Anon (1991), Non-electronic Parts Reliability Data, RAC Report NPRD, Reliability Analysis Center,Griffiss AFB, NY (Link to…

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Is data indigestion a risk?

In a world that used to be data-starved, is data indigestion a risk? Data starvation It is rare that we review a project where the monitoring system really works. Instruments fail, are destroyed by neighboring construction, by contractors and animals. Winter conditions, soft soils and tailings or other factors forbid access, timely replacement or maintenance. And then, piezometer do not measure the levels they should because of some geotechnical oddity or construction problem, inclinometers are too short, etc. In some…

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Limit of credibility in risk assessments

Many users invoke Limit of credibility in risk assessments but rarely discuss what this means. It is possible to establish limits on the credibility of probabilities estimates based upon the limits of human capabilities and the limits of historical evidence? Limit of credibility in risk assessments, what do we really mean? Let’s start with a couple statements that may sound like a joke. …and there was light The Big Bang universe creation occurred 1010 years ago, meaning the “history of…

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