RISK ASSESSMENT FOR TAILINGS IMPOUNDMENTS


Risk assessment is an important part of the analysis of potential failures of embankment structures such as earthen dams and tailings impoundments, which are typically constructed from earth or a mixture of earth and tailings. Risk assessments require a thorough understanding of the possible modes of failure and the potential consequences of such failures. Expertise in geotechnical engineering, hydrology and hydraulic engineering, and statistical analysis are key to determining accurate assessments of the risk associated with various failure scenarios for tailings impoundments.



Portion of event tree created as part of tailings pond risk assessment.



EXAMPLE PROJECTS


Evaluation of Risk Associated with Zelazny Most Tailings Pond

D'Appolonia was retained to develop state-of-the art methods for assessing the risk (likelihood and consequences of potential failure modes) associated with the Zelazny Most tailings pond in its present condition and with possible future raisings of the crest elevation to 590, 625 and 640 feet above sea level. The ultimate objective was to develop a rational strategy to determine whether such increases in elevation, possibly in conjunction with mitigation measures, could be accomplished with acceptable levels of risk.



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