The blogger muse prompted by opera & brandy demands release of mental pressure. Thus a second posting on Mt Polley in one day. This afternoon, I was asked what the implications of Mt Polley were to mining world-wide. Some of the answers, unpremeditated, I gave. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘tailings failure’
I was always healthy until I visited the doctor for a checkup. Then they found all sorts of things wrong with me: internal components not working; high levels of this and that and consequential concerns; indications of too much drink and smoking; blood pressure where it should not be; weight too high; and so on. Although I did loose some fifteen lbs on my recent trip to Peru and Chile. Maybe not enough alcohol, lots of walking, and all that terrible Peruvian food. How can you like raw fish in vinegar; black potatoes in squid ink; or slimy muscles in red pepper? I cannot and probably ate too little. (more…)
A little bit more on the failure of that tailings facility in Brazil from some-one on the ground:
The accident was in a very small mine close to Belo. It was an old tailings dam that was not supposed to be in operation anymore. But they decide to pile dried tailings on top of it. I don’t have technical details about the failure but I guess it is very similar to a previous one I took you to see. At the moment of the failure, equipment was working at the same point. That’s the reason for the deaths. It is going to take some time for us to get the conclusions about the real cause of the accident. But, as soon as I get some more information I will let you know.
Thanks to this fellow for letting us know.
Here is another comment from someone in Brazil:
The Minas Gerais dam failure is worst because of dead people (3), which means that there is environmental process and also criminal. The problem I see from the two failures is that we still don´t know the causes. In Canada the cause seems to be overtopping or seepage thru the embankment (high pore pressures or piping); in Brazil it seems to have occurred static liquefaction, and the triggering cause possibly excavation of the outer slopes. But we haven´t seen any word about the causes. It is just my guess. In Canada the pictures we saw doesn´t show a good appearance of the dykes. It resembles coarse and loose material, not prepared to have any contact with water. In Brazil it was an old tailings dam, upstream construction, that was being used as a platform for the operation of settling ponds (we call it here “baias”), where the coarse settles and are removed by shovels and transported to piles, and the fines have the same destiny, but need more time to drain and do dry.
Risk resilience is a term that I heard for the first time today. The people who used the term assure me that it is not new, just not recognized in mining for its power. There was a conference last year in South Africa on risk resilience in mining. There is a successful consultant on the topic in Australia. (more…)
Mike Davies is the pre-eminent tailings engineer of present times. He and his team in Vancouver can solve any tailings challenge your mine may face. He and his team at AMEC are the best of the best. They have not paid me to say this; I write, as always, on the basis of personal opinion & conviction. (more…)