Violeta Martin Discusses CDA Bulletin Updates at the Tailings Dam Breach Analysis Workshop

October 14, 2019, Vancouver, BC, Canada Violeta Martin, specialist hydrotechnical engineer based in Knight Piésold’s Vancouver office, facilitated the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) workshop on the “Technical Bulletin on Tailings Dam Breach Analyses (TDBA),” together with two other core members of the Tailings Dam Breach Working Group: Mohammad Al-Mamun of TetraTech and Omid Mohseni of Barr Engineering. The workshop was one of five workshops offered at the 2019 CDA Conference & Exhibition, held on October 6-10 in Calgary, Alberta.

Three earlier workshops were held in 2014, 2015, and 2017 under the direction of the CDA Mining Dams Committee that captured the current state of practice in TDBA. These workshops also presented alternate and advanced analyses methods that are either used in practice or are in the development stage. The development of the current TDBA Technical Bulletin (Bulletin) started in mid-2016 and the Bulletin is scheduled to be published in 2020.

At the half-day workshop held on October 8, the instructors gave an overview of the Bulletin that will provide guidelines specific to conducting tailings dam breach analyses and presented the proposed TDBA flow chart and key technical steps. The workshop focused on specific issues and challenges relating to tailings dams that are critical to be captured in such studies, which became more apparent from some of the recent catastrophic tailings dam failures, including the Brumadinho dam failure in 2019 in Brazil.

“The workshop was very well attended and received by tailings dam professionals, dam owners, and regulators,” said Martin. “It provided an opportunity for active discussion among the attendees and workshop instructors. With the Bulletin coming out in the near future, we look forward to supporting professionals in this evolving field in the industry.”