Case Studies of Tailings Failures – MINEM533
The objectives of this micro-credential is to illustrate the linkages between design, construction and operation of a tailings storage facility (TSF) and how deficiencies in any of these processes can impact on the stability of a TSF.
Two case studies of well-documented failures are discussed in detail, the Merriespruit failure that occurred in South Africa in 1994 and the Cadia TSF failure that occurred in Australia in 2018.
Emphasis is placed on how application of the understanding obtained in the two previous micros in this Unit (Risk Evaluation and Tailings Monitoring) is essential in reducing the likelihood of a catastrophic failure occurring.
This micro-credential is one in a series of 12 micro-credentials (currently in development) which, if successfully completed, will lead to a Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management* at UWA.
Future Tails is a five-year initiative funded by sponsors Rio Tinto and BHP to facilitate industry understanding of best practice mine tailings management.
Upon successful completion of this micro-credential, you'll receive:
- Two PD Points - stackable for academic credit towards the Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management*
- A Certificate of Achievement
- A UWA Plus Professional Development Transcript, listing all successfully completed micro-credentials
*In order to apply for the Graduate Certificate award you must have a Bachelor of Engineering degree or a degree in a related field and have met UWA’s English language competency requirements. Please refer to the Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management.
- Delivery mode
- Online access to learning material, on demand. Two online discussion forums will be held for students to discuss the learning material and share their own insights into the topics covered.
- Course dates
- 29 January 2024 - 22 March 2024
- 50 hours (including online learning, personal study time and assessments)
- Academic lead
- Professor Andy Fourie
- $1,100 inc. GST
- Critical information summary
- MINEM533 Case Studies of Tailings Failures [PDF 245KB]
Articulate the link between monitoring and setting suitable TARPs
Evaluate how poor operational practices impact on TSF stability
Identify the factors to consider in planning an appropriate site investigation for a new TSF
Demonstrate how current best practice could have prevented the TSF failures discussed in this micro
Why study this course?
As a result of the recent Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM), there is increasing demand for tailings professionals at the same time as the industry is experiencing a shortage of personnel with appropriate training. The GISTM will bring rapid change to the way the industry manages tailings and waste. This micro-credential and the subsequent micro-credentials will allow you to keep up with standards, technologies and guidelines dealing with tailings management.
Who should study this course?
This micro-credential has been designed for professionals working in the field of tailings management. It is best suited to practicing engineers, geoscientists or individuals with responsibility for input into risk assessments of tailings storage facilities, although the content covered and the principles discussed will find relevance in all fields of mining geomechanics.
Recommended prior knowledge
It is advisable that students take MINEM531 - Risk Evaluation and MINEM532 - Tailings Monitoring before taking this microcredential. Individuals with responsibility for input into risk assessments of tailings storage facilities may consider taking this micro-credential before taking the above two micros.
Engineering numerical skills are required, as there will be some calculations that are essential to understanding the material.
What's next after this course?
This micro-credential is one of a series of twelve micro-credentials that are stackable towards the Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management*.
This micro-credential is the third of three on the topic of Tailings Risk Evaluation. The other two on this topic are: (1) Risk Management for Tailings Engineering; and (2) Tailings Monitoring.
The Calendar of micro-credentials can be found here.
*In order to apply for the Graduate Certificate award you must have a Bachelor of Engineering degree or a degree in a related field and have met UWA's English language competency requirements. Please refer to the Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management.
Applications are open.