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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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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CIM Tailings Workshop Series comments

Within the frame of the CIM Tailings Workshop Series  pre-workshop comments participants were asked three questions aiming at “feeding” the discussions. Below are the three questions and our “short” replies.  What is a tailings system? From a physical point of view, not in order of importance: start at the pumps in the mill, pipelines, spigots, dam(s), all water management ancillary facilities (including diversions, decants, spillways), roadway at the crown, seepage collection facilities, decant raft and pipes, monitoring, investigations and testing…

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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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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, FMEA risk methodology

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, FMEA risk methodology risk matrix In our day to day practice we frequently see risk assessments methodologies stretched to «fit the clients’ case». In other words, users select improper tools to deliver results. This is a brief summary for the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) risk matrix one of the most common risk assessments methodologies. In the coming weeks we will review several of these methodologies and will end the review with a comparison. FMEA was one of the…

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