Mark Pearse, Mark Foster, Peter Hill, Sam Banzi, Muhammad Hameed, Benson Liu
Determining which risk control measures are required is one of the top issues for dam owners as they contend with limited resources generally and capex in particular. The key issue addressed in this paper is how a dam owner can both identify the control measures that they should implement and demonstrate that they are acting reasonably and responsibly. The Framework developed in this paper provides a practical and transparent way to address the relevant matters that are required to be considered under common law, work, health and safety (WHS) legislation and the NSW Dams Safety legislation for determining whether a risk control measure is reasonably practicable. It provides dam owners with a transparent and defensible way of both identifying the controls and demonstrating that they are acting in a reasonable and responsible manner.
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Claudia Smith, Shannon Dooland, Adam Broit, Rachel Jensen, Samantha Watt
The estimation of real consequences from dam failure that directly link to the overall likelihood of the failure is a challenging task, particularly in data sparse locations. Previous regional methods have often relied on simplistic assumptions without consideration of the true joint probability of the volume of flow in the downstream tributaries of concurrent catchments. As a result, concurrent downstream flooding directly impacting the consequence in dam break assessment scenarios may be misrepresented. More recently, the adoption of streamflow-based joint probability has become the standard, particularly where consequence estimation is used within the context of risk assessment. This paper progresses the work completed by others to establish a practical treatment method based on rainfall analysis where suitable streamflow information is unavailable. A case study is also presented where this method has improved the understanding of the risk profile associated with a coastal storage based on a better estimate of the likely flood concurrence within the storage and downstream catchments.
Dan Clark, Joanne Stephenson, Trevor Allen
We present earthquake ground motions based upon a paleoseismically-validated characteristic earthquake scenario for the ~ 48 km-long Avonmore scarp, which overlies the Meadow Valley Fault, east of Bendigo, Victoria. The results from the moment magnitude MW 7.1 scenario earthquake indicate that ground motions are sufficient to be of concern to nearby mining and water infrastructure. Specifically, the estimated median peak ground acceleration (PGA) exceeds 0.5 g to more than ~ 10 km from the source fault, and a 0.09 g PGA liquefaction threshold is exceeded out to approximately 50-70 kilometres. Liquefaction of susceptible materials, such as mine tailings, may occur to much greater distances. Our study underscores the importance of identifying and characterising potentially active faults in proximity to high failure-consequence dams, including mine tailings dams, particularly in light of the requirement to manage tailing dams for a prolonged period after mine closure.
Dr Mark Leonard
The quantification of the 85% and 95% hazard fractiles, as required by the ANCOLD 2019 Guidelines for design of dams, is investigated. It is found that there are four independent sources of uncertainty in the PSHA input models that have a significant effect on the hazard. So all four need to be quantified, particularly for Extreme and High A consequent dams. It is also found that the uncertainty of many of the other parameters, which are routinely included in probabilistic seismic hazard assessments, have minimal effect on either the mean or the higher fractiles so do not necessarily need to be routinely included. The complexity of the input models required to satisfy the new standards are substantially higher than those routinely used in prior decades.
Ryan Singh, Jiri Herza, James Thorp, Michael Ashley
Performance-based risk-informed decision making is an underlying principle of the Global Industry
Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). While owners make significant efforts to align with this
principle, commonly used risk assessment and management practices in the mining industry have largely been based on the HSE principles, which consider more frequent, lower consequence incidents.
As a result, the existing risk assessment frameworks do not provide the owners with a comprehensive understanding of the risk profiles of their tailings storage facilities (TSFs). Without the understanding of a facility’s risk profile, the owners cannot appreciate how changes to their facility, processes and operational activities may impact the risk profile. A large step-change in thinking is therefore required in risk assessment practices for the owner to align their TSF management with GISTM requirements.
Beyond risk assessments, the mining industry has other valuable concepts to manage the safety of their tailings management practices, such as Critical Controls, however, commonly used risk assessment and management practices do not incorporate these concepts.
This paper explores commonly used risk assessment practices and the concepts of Critical Controls. It proposes how these concepts can be linked, with Critical Controls being embedded in the risk assessment process. The outcomes of linking these concepts result in an estimation of the effectiveness of the Critical Controls and how they can be improved to demonstrably reduce the risk presented by a TSF. A case study has been included to demonstrate the benefits of linking risk assessment with Critical Controls and how owners can readily identify deficiencies and efficiently manage the risk profiles of their facilities.
Jarrad Coffey and John Plunkett
As tailings standards continue to evolve, a greater focus is being placed on the monitoring of tailings storage facilities (TSFs). While this is a positive development for TSF safety into the future, it is only one component of the work required to implement Performance Based Risk Informed (PBRI) management. There is also a significant human element that can be aided by reducing the time spent of personnel sourcing/aggregating data and instead focussing on decision making. It is discussed in this paper how a more holistic approach to monitoring via a dashboard that displays all management data relevant to a portfolio of TSFs can be applied in parallel to risk assessment to work towards the goal of PBRI. The dashboard also facilitates review and governance activities, which are central to the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management. An example of the dashboard utilised at Rio Tinto Iron Ore is presented to provide an example of such a system and its benefits.