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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.
Event: A path to zero failures in tailings facility
Date/Time: 02/10/2016 - 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Keystone Conference Center, 0633 Tennis Club Rd, Keystone, Colorado

A path to zero failures in tailings facility: what are the success criteria and what is achievable?

The course will examine recent findings from the Mount Polley tailings facility failure and outline the risk assessment methods that can be used to prevent future tailings disasters. While many methodologies exist, the public is asking for a path to zero failures in tailings facility; mining companies are more and more sensitive to the multi-dimensional consequence of tailings failures and want to reduce risks with economically viable solutions.

A path to zero failures in tailings facility
We have to ask ourselves, beyond demagogical statements and arbitrary truths, what has a chance to work, what are the success criteria, what is achievable and what can be asked to a responsible miner today. During this course:

  • Practical risk assessment method techniques for the management of mine geowaste facilities will be role-played using past and recent case histories. Various methods used for undertaking risk assessment and decision making, including FMEAs, Fault Trees and Event Trees will be used (properly, as they were originally stated) and misused (as often done) to show common pitfalls and how misleading results can be generated. Easy corrective measures will be developed, so that delegates can start reviewing extant risk assessments of their facilities.
  • In the era of IoT (Internet of Things) and professional civilian drones new capabilities are becoming available and risk assessments can benefit from those disruptive technologies. Solutions to problems such as baby- boomers retirements and related loss of knowledge, real time information updates, management overwhelming syndrome and lack of focused prioritization (non respect of the 80-20 (Pareto) rule) are now within reach with reasonable efforts. We will show what exist on the market and what you should expect and ask from such systems in order to:
    • Be ready to deliver at any given time (produce 7/24, 365 days).
    • Ensure operational sustainability (asset, maintenance, and stewardship).
    • Maintain confidentiality and security (of intelligence, prospection, outputs, etc.).
    • Satisfy public opinion while being notoriously prone to be opposed and criticized.

Upon completion

participants will be better equipped to manage mine geowaste facilities, in accordance with current best management practices, including comprehensive consideration of hazards, probabilities of failure, consequence quantification, and most importantly, implementation of mitigation measures to reduce cost and ensure safety.

Dr. F. Oboni, Oboni Riskope Associates, Inc., Vancouver, B.C.
C. Oboni, Oboni Riskope Associates Inc., Vancouver, B.C.
J. Caldwell, Robertson GeoConsultants, Inc., Vancouver, B.C.



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