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Tailings dams knowledge base creation

Tailings dams knowledge base creation is about how to acquire the information needed to perform well documented risk assessments. Of course, there are many possible ways to create the necessary knowledge-base for a risk assessment that is compliant with the new Global standard. Today we will discuss a few possible ways to do so at a high-level.At Riskope we passionately believe that only a blending of these approaches is capable of bringing the answers needed for high quality risk assessments…

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Credible events and black swans

We have discussed credible events and black swans several times in this blog, but this time it is different. We do have a real black swan event and we can show it is incredible! 31st  December 2019 to end of February I can still recall champagne popping on December 31st 2019.  Everyone was merry, the expectations for an incredible 2020, a bissextile year on top of that, were flamboyant. Yes, pun intended. Flying to Italy from Brazil on January 23rd …

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Dams Failure modes and catastrophic failures

Today we explore the relationship between Failure modes and catastrophic failures. Catastrophic failure of tailings dam and its water management structures are the likely result of the failure of a number of essential components or any combination of states. We purposely use a different terminology from failure modes because they explain how the dam can fail, but not why. If we look at past events, hydro dams and tailings dam are similar as, for example Oroville and Fundao did fail…

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Dam risks informational gap

Dam risks informational gap impacts to a certain extent all dams: hydro, tailings and finally, toxic dumps. There are thousands of active dams around the world significantly different because of: age, function, materials, construction style and care, maintenance care and finally “behavior” or performance. Oroville dam was one of those, like other recent mining catastrophes and the Michigan failures. What do all dams have in common? Dams are all exposed to hazards, e.g. natural, man-made such as excess of confidence,…

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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…

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Of Human and Dams Health

Someone asked us to do a ELI5 tailings dam failure (i.e. Explain me Like I am 5, aka explain in layman’s term what are the problem in the management of dams). We find the similarities on common traits of Human and Dams Health particularly striking and hope it helps people to understand the missing pieces. Human Health Human health is a complex field. Numerous factors (Key performance Indicators) may generate diseases which provoke failure modes, such as: Heart issues Lungs…

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Quantifying Tailings Dam Risks at MIRA

Quantifying Tailings Dam Risks at MIRA (Mining Insurance and Risk Association) one hour session took place on June 11th 2020. The talk presented a comprehensive approach to address how to quantify and prioritize tailings dam risks, especially in the context of large dams’ inventories. In this blogpost we summarize the Q/A session that followed the talk, classified by theme. The full talk is viewable on Youtube    At the end we present a synthesis before some closing remarks. Understanding geology and…

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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…

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