BHP world tailings dam review includes Antamina

08 June 2019

BHP has undertaken a very useful review of its tailing dams world-wide. It includes an introduction to such dams and description of those in its portfolio with a risk review.

Such reviews are now necessary by all mining companies following the recent failure of two dams in Brazil and such reviews are now taking place by the major extractive companies

The review notes that one classification of risk is based on the potential damage to people (workers, communities) not on the likelihood of failure. “Dam classification or consequence is generally based on the modelled impacts following a dam break study, of the hypothetical most significant failure mode for the dam, regardless of the probability of failure or the controls in place to manage the risk of failure.” In the event of a failure loss-of-life classifications include: extreme, more than 100; high, 10 or below; low, zero.

In Peru BHP does not have any currently operating tailings dams but it does have one in a non-operating facility in the Antamina joint-venture; the risk at this dam is classified as ‘extreme’, as noted above, because of the potential impact on nearby communities.

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