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Open pit walls catastrophic failure probabilities for a captive insurance

Four or five years ago an insurance company asked us to estimate open pit walls catastrophic failure probabilities for a captive insurance. A that time of our study recent publications of pit wall failures databases we not yet available. Like we did for tailings dams failures in 2013 we used approximate data we found, i.e. a sample portfolio of forty open pits records and a table from a 1996 Swedish with 24 open pit failures research. Open pit walls catastrophic…

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ORE2-Tailings dam analysis

Welcome to ORE2-Tailings dam analysis ORE2-Tailings dam analysis delivers value to the mining industry. In addition it supports communication between owners, regulators and the public. That is quickly and at affordable costs ORE2-Tailings dam analysis is beneficial for those who: design, permit, construct, operate, insure and finally, perhaps close,tailings/waste storage facilities in the mining and oil & gas extraction industry. Why ORE2-Tailings dam analysis? The key note lecture by Henry Brehaut at TMW2017 stated that “….clearly, the need emerges to develop…

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Independent Forensic Team Report Oroville Dam Spillway Analysis

We just read the Appendix F From 2018 Independent Forensic Team Report Oroville Dam Spillway Analysis. So, we decided to discuss a few points from our risk perspective. It was a joy to read the statements the Independent Forensic Team made on “normalization of deviance” and the disproportionate influence some experts may exert on group deliberations. Indeed a Potential Failure Modes Analysis (PFMA) team generally includes various members bringing diverse perspectives into the process. Oftentimes one or two strongly opinionated persons,…

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Data in probabilities assessment

Data in probabilities assessment constitute an everyday conundrum. The key question is what constitutes essential (understood as basic, indispensable) and ideal (understood as “perfect”) data set. There is no “simple” answer to that question. Consider that we often deal with prototypes or new facilities before commissioning. Past performances may not reflect future behavior because of system or climatic changes. Indeed, any internal or external change to the system has the potential to prove assumptions wrong. In particular, that past experiences…

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Tailings dam failure at the Cadia-Ridgeway Mine in Australia

We learned last week about a tailings dam failure at the Cadia-Ridgeway Mine in Australia. We are going to discuss a few points we know as they relate to Tailings Dams Risk Management. What we know about the tailings dam failure at the Cadia-Ridgeway Mine in Australia In the late afternoon of Friday March 9th , Cadia identified a limited breakthrough of tailings material at its northern tailings dam embankment as shown in the press release they produced. This tailings…

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Geoethics, Theory of General Ethics and Risk Management

Is it possible to link Geoethics, Theory of General Ethics and Risk Management to add value to our efforts? How can we integrate a risk assessment in ethics? What qualities should a risk assessment method possess to support ethical projects and endeavours? Kim Williams, a good friends of mine, let me a wonderful book by Warwick Fox entitled A Theory of General Ethics, Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment (2006). The book is not easy to read. I was…

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Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report

The Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report became public in January 2018. The story it tells is remarkably similar to the one we assumed, based on publicly available information in the aftermath of the accident. As risk advisers and managers we discuss below the various statements in the Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report. We aim at highlighting risk biases and potential management changes to avoid similar developments. Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report Conclusions Commented The Independent Forensic Team Report made a number…

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Unrealistic risk assessment describing a rosy scenario

Keystone pipeline has spilled substantially more oil, and more often, than indicated in the risk assessments the company provided to regulators. But why and how a common risk assessment becomes an unrealistic risk assessment describing a rosy scenario? Indeed what regulators saw in the pre-construction project risk assessment was reportedly the following. “A spill of more than 50 barrels will occur “ not more than once every seven to 11 years over the entire length of the pipeline in the…

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