What started out as a workshop among 50 industry leaders to discuss the challenges of performing engineering services for mine tailings dams, resulted in a document that will guide mine owners, regulators, and practitioners toward a more efficient and safer approach to designing and maintaining mine tailings dams.

On January 26, 2017, GBA hosted over 50 industry leaders, subject matter experts, regulators, owners, and practitioners for a Tailings Engineer-of-Record (EOR) Workshop in Denver, Colorado.  The event was designed to identify concerns of filling the role of the EOR’s for tailings storage facilities (TSF) projects and develop guidance for those working on TSF projects in the United States, Canada, and abroad.  Kimberly F. Morrison P.E., R.G., (Newmont Goldcorp) a former GBA Board Member and Task Force Chair coordinated the workshop and was pleased by the support that she received from so many industry leaders from across North America.  Ms. Morrison said, “In the wake of the Mount Polley (Canada) tailings dam failure in 2014 and the Samarco (Brazil) tailings dam failure in 2015, the issue of EOR for tailings storage facilities (TSFs) has become an industry-wide issue.  This impressive group gathered to review available information, share professional opinions, and start preparing  guidance for all in this industry.

In October 2018, GBA published the Proposed Best Practices for the         Engineer of Record (EOR) for Tailings Dams.  This document was prepared with input from the workshop and additional  contributions of the Alberta Dam Integrity Advisory Committee  (DIAC), Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), Canadian Dam Association (CDA) and the United States Society on Dams (USSD).  The document is supported by two  supplemental documents and a just published; Important Information about this Tailings Storage Facility Design Report which is now available for distribution.

A special thanks to GBA’s Tailings Engineer of Record Task Force Chair Kimberly Morrison, Robert “Bob” Snow (D’Appolonia), and Sara Menase (GBA), for their many hours writing and editing the documents.  Thanks also to the Member Firms who sponsored the workshop all those who contributed to this effort.  The Task Force is supported by GBA’s Geotechnical Business Council. 

GBA’s Tailings Engineer of Record Task Force Members are:

Kimberly Finke Morrison, P.E., R.G. (CMOC International), John Baker, P.E. (BGC Engineering USA Inc.), Jeremy Boswell (Thurber Engineering, Ltd.), Peter H. Bush, P.E. (Fugro USA Land, Inc.), Brett Richard Byler (WOOD), Dean B. Durkee, Ph.D., P.E. (Gannett Fleming, Inc.), Peter Duvigneaud (Haley & Aldrich, Inc.), Gordan Gjerapic, Ph.D. (Golder Associates Inc.), Christopher Hatton, P.E. (Haley & Aldrich, Inc.), Richard D. Heckel, P.E., D.GE. (Ardent Geotechnical Consultants LLC), Keith Mobley, P.E., G.E. (Northern Geotechnical Engineering – Terra Firma Testing), Joergen – Pilz, P.E., P.G. (Golder Associates Inc.), Michael Gilbert Rowland, P.E. (S&ME, Inc.), Robert E. Snow, P.E. (D’Appolonia Engineering Division of Ground Technology, Inc.), Alex Sy, Ph.D., P.Eng. (Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.)

The Task Force and resulting documents are examples of GBA’s ability to positively impact our industry through planning, collaboration, and ability to complete assignments expeditiously.

Download Proposed Best Practices for the Engineer of Record (EOR) for Tailings Dams

Download Important Information About This Tailings Storage Facility Design Report