Dam failure

Work Packages

Multi-stakeholder governance

A series of facilitated multi-stakeholder workshops will be held quarterly at both case study sites. These interactions will be developed to foster multi-stakeholder governance (Utting 2001) model championed by the United Nations for managing risks in tailings storage.

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Dam reliability assessment

Stochastic structural reliability analysis of the physical dam under its environmental conditions and given its known history (if available) can be used to estimate the chances of dam failure whose immediate consequences would severely impact human life, property, agricultural and environmental resources.

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The risk assessment, built upon a GIS-based model with spatially explicit consideration of the local geography, will lead to accessible visualisations to support preventative decision making.

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Long-term human health and ecological effects

We will quantify potential secondary impacts from mining operations which can be long-lasting and insidious.

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Risk Management

Risk does not tend to follow the traditional segregation of scientific disciplines. Disasters are never isolated events; they are a nexus of external drivers, human factors, and engineering failure.

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Aims and objectives

  1. guidance leading to a national contingency plan for dam failure;
  2. international capacity in the application of cutting-edge quantitative risk analysis, novel sensor technologies, and systemic vulnerability assessment leading to a unified national framework for dam safety; and,
  3. empowering at-risk communities to actively engage with the risk-reduction agenda by enhancing transparency, reducing information asymmetry, and identifying and tackling the social, cultural, organizational, and individual factors hampering on-site/at-work risk awareness and the perception of organizational safety factors at the individual level.

Mining Dams Safety Manager / Mineral Resources Specialist / Dam Safety Specialist

Luiz Paniago Neves

National Mining Agency (ANM)

Geologist from the University of Brasilia (UnB - 2006), trainee and geologist at Votorantim Metais (2007 - 2009), geoprocessing manager at the Brasilia Environment Agency (IBRAM - 2010), Master in Economic Geology and Prospecting (UnB - 2011) , mineral resources specialist, dam safety specialist (University of Bahia - UFBA - 2013), mineral research supervision coordinator (ANM - 2015), mining dam safety manager at ANM.

Professor and Researcher

Ricardo Cesar

Federal University of the Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Ricardo Cesar is a Professor and Researcher of the Federal University of the Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where he has been coordinating the Soil Ecology and Ecotoxicology Laboratory (LECOTOX) of the Geosciences Institute. Such Laboratory was created by him in 2015, when he became a Professor at the UFRJ. Ricardo Cesar has been working with environmental geochemistry, metal contamination and ecotoxicology of tropical soils and aquatic ecosystems since 2002, when he started my undergraduate studies.

At the LECOTOX, the main focus of his research is to evaluate the eco-health of aquatic and soil ecosystems impacted by human activities and toxic wastes (dredged sediments, sewage sludge, mining wastes, untreated domestic wastes, and others). In this context, Ricardo Cesar has been developing multidisciplinary researches using terrestrial and aquatic organisms as bioindicators of environmental quality (ecotoxicological tests, ecological risk assessments and metal bioavailability), including the uptake of toxic elements by earthworms and fish. In Brazil, multidisciplinary studies focused on metal toxicity to soil bioindicators (earthworms and soil arthropods) are still scarce. To complement and to support the interpretation of ecological and ecotoxicological data, Ricardo Cesar has been studying the biogeochemical behavior of contaminants (especially heavy metals) in soils and aquatic systems, including the influence of physical, chemical and mineralogical attributes in such processes. Last, but not least, the modelling of the risks on human health in metal-contaminated areas is also an important research line of the LECOTOX.

Titular Professor, Undergraduate and Postgraduate Professor

Evandro Moraes da Gama

Department of Mining Engineering, School of Engineering, UFMG EEUFMG

Since 1995, he has been conducting research and consulting in the area of tailings dam stability and stack stability for mining waste storage. The work developed involves

  • Geotechnical research and stability studies working with numerical methods
  • Research and studies of environmental impact caused by the disposal of tailings and mining waste in areas provided with springs and riparian forests.
  • Hydrogeological research and hydrology in mining areas developing methodology for assessment of environmental impact on water balance caused by lowering of water table.

In 2016 created the pilot plant for sustainable development of mining LGG Geomaterials and Geotechnologies Laboratory. Applied research lines

  • Development of new products from the treatment of sterile and mining tailings through flash calcination.
  • Calcination flash of tailings and waste mining.
  • Treatment of mining tailings and waste materials for utilization materials for civil construction, road paving and hydroponics and fish farming.
  • Use of residues and waste from the steel
  • Agglomeration of material
  • Storage of materials
  • New methods of storage
  • Development of new products