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Past Events

Event: Risk Assessment, Decision Making and Management of Mine Waste Facilities
Date/Time: 13/11/2016 - All Day
Location: Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier, 138 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, B.C.

Brief goal and objectives of the course Risk Assessment, Decision Making and Management of Mine Waste Facilities

This course is for all who have to design, permit, construct, operate, finance, insure, steward and ultimately close a mine tailing
s facility, waste rock dump, or spent heap leach pad. The course describes the use of risk assessment and decision making methods during all phases of the management of a mine waste facility.

Authors and affiliation

Franco Oboni, Riskope, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Cesar Oboni, Riskope, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jack A. Caldwell, Robertson GeoConsultants, Vancouver, BC, Canada


  • Site selection for a new tailings facility using risk assessment and decision making methods.
  • Design of tailings facilities based on risk management and mitigation considerations.
  • Continuous performance improvement during the operation of a tailings facility.
  • Risk assessment in the conduct of dam safety inspections and reviews.
  • Tailings facility closure scenarios assessment using risk-based approaches.

Case histories spanning some thirty years and spreading from South Africa to Latin America, Canada and Europe will be used through role-playing to illustrate the use of risk analysis and decision making in both informal and formal ways as part of the professional and responsible management of mine tailings facilities.

Innovative methodologies based on sound and best practice risk assessment approaches will also be explained. These offer users:Risk Assessment, Decision Making and Management of Mine Waste Facilities

  • The possibility to perform discrete or real time updates (depending on the applications and the criticalities involved).
  • “Decluttering” the results, reducing the “overwhelming syndrome” often root-cause of inaction.
  • Enhancements in the internal and external communication process, thus supporting the social license to operateand the CSR efforts of the owners/operators.

Attendees will leave the course equipped to select methods, to apply principles, and to make decisions leading to better, safer management of their mine tailings facilities. It is time for miners to embrace Risk Management 2.0 and evolve from the obviously not always successful status quo!


The course is intended for:

  • Mine managers and operators, stewards who need to be sure the mine’s tailings facility, waste rock dump, or spent heap leach pad is safe, cost effective, and in accordance with current good risk management practice.
  • Consultants who design new mine waste disposal facilities, assist in their operation, and plan closure works and who therefore need to be aware of and able to incorporate new and relevant RA & RBDM methods.
  • Civil engineers who undertake dam safety inspections that demand the use of risk assessment methodologies.
  • Regulators who have to review and approve new tailings facilities, expansion of facilities, and ultimately the closure of such facilities.
  • Surface and groundwater hydrologists and specialists faced with management of surface water and seepage from tailings facilities, waste rock dumps, and spent heap leach pads.
  • Environmental scientists who are charged with protection the environment of the site and surrounding region of mine waste disposal facilities.
  • Financial institutions that finance or insure mines and their facilities and who need to be assured that the facilities are risk resilient.

Program outline

Morning session

1. Introduction
2. Risk Assessment Principles & Practice
3. Decision Making Principles & Practice
4. Facility Site Selection using Decision Making

Afternoon session

5. Tailings Facility Failure Modes and Statistics
6. Operational Continuous Improvement
7. Planning & Implementation involving RA & RBDM
8. Post-Closure Facility Risk Assessment Challenges

Items required by participants of the course

None foreseen.


Event: Risk and Resilience Mining Solutions Conference
Sponsors: UBC
Date/Time: 13/11/2016 - 16/11/2016 - All Day
Location: Vancouver, Vancouver, Vancouver,

Organized by InfoMine and UBC

Call for abstracts open! Submission deadline is MAy 27, 2015.

Vancouver risk and resilience


Mining is not risk free. This is true for resource estimates, feasibility studies, design, operations, closure, and post-closure. Risk assessment, risk management, and implementation of mitigation measures are ongoing activities throughout all phases of mining. The risks are numerous. Some risks that public and regulatory authorities are increasingly concerned about are safety during operations and closure, such as pit slope and underground stability and failures or tailings dam breaches, and the operational and post-closure releases of substances deleterious to the environment (acid mine drainage, amongst others). The conference covers risk identification and assessment; development of mitigation measures; decision making methods allowing for risk, current practices for minimizing risk, and case histories at all stages of mine life from development through closure and for major mine facilities, and activities including open pits, underground workings, tailings facilities, waste rock dumps, heap leach pads, and water supply and treatment systems. The processes of regulatory and corporate governance are important to risk management and will also be examined. Sound risk management requires means for long-term risk prevention, and recovery from any failures should they occur, and includes monitoring, maintenance, bonding and insurance to achieve operating and long-term robustness and resilience in development, operations and closure plans.

The conference is an opportunity for those involved in mining to examine the basic issues of risk in mining:

  • What are the hazards?
  • What is the probability of the hazards becoming reality?
  • What are the consequences of things going wrong?
  • How can you mitigate the chance (make robust) and consequences (make resilient) of risks?
  • What risks can you tolerate as the mine owner, engineer, regulator or public?
  • What regulation, corporate governance, funding and insurance is required mitigate risk?

This conference will provide an opportunity for professionals working in, and with the mining industry to explore risk, tolerance, mitigation approaches, and the robustness and resilience of practices and procedures, designs, operational methods, and mine closure measures and plans. Those involved in engineering designs and operations, environmental controls, worker safety, mine financing, financial assurance, risk communication and management, and regulation of risk in the mining industry are invited to share their experiences and to learn from each other. Keynote presentations, technical papers, and short courses will explore current practices.


  • Risk identification and mitigation during site selection, design, construction and operation of mines, including:
    • Open pits and strip mines
    • Underground mines
    • Tailings dams
    • Waste dumps and heap leach piles
    • Water management and water management structures.
  • Risk identification and mitigation for mine closure and long-term post closure performance
  • Risk identification and mitigation of human health and environment (other than occupational health and safety aspects)
  • Risk assessment methodologies, including:
    • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
    • Pathway-dose-response analyses for human health and the environment
    • Probabilistic event tree analyses
    • Bayesian or other methods\
    • Extreme event and long-term degradation assessment.
  • Risk costs, financing and assurance, including:
    • Financial risk
    • Bonding
    • Insurance and long-term risk monitoring
    • Maintenance and mitigation plans.
  • Risk management, including:
  • Corporate and regulatory governance
  • Design standards and review
  • Construction and operational quality control and assurance
  • Review boards, engineer of record, audits, safety inspections and continuous improvement processes.
  • Corporate and mine case histories.
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