Tailings dam performance from USCOLD incident-survey data

Strachan, C.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
This paper presents an evaluation of the tailings dam incidents included in the 1994 US Committee on Large Dams (USCOLD) Committee on Tailings Dams report. Also, comparisons are made to water storage dam incidents from USCOLD reports, as well as to more recent tailings dam incidents. The evaluation results show that tailings dam incidents result from a number of factors, including overtopping, static and seismic instability, seepage and internal erosion, and foundation conditions. The results also show that no particular type of tailings dam or operational condition is more susceptible to incidents. In addition, the results confirm that tailings dams should be located, designed, operated and reclaimed with a thorough knowledge of site conditions, mill operation, site monitoring and tailings characteristics.
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