Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Principal - Klohn Crippen Berger
Keynote presentation: Utilizing a Performance-Based Approach to Support Tailings Closure
Keynote summary: In general, the goal of tailings closure is to establish a stable feature that provides end or returning land use value without adding unnecessary burden. This is reliant on a comprehensive and robust understanding of the facility, site conditions and clear closure goals.
All tailings facilities have uncertainties in design assumptions, site conditions, operating conditions and how the facility will respond to changing conditions. A focus of tailings facility development and operations is managing the potential impacts of these uncertainties on performance as well as reducing them over time.
The nature of progressively raising and loading a tailings facility over time, often decades, provides a tremendous opportunity to improve your understanding of the site. A performance-based approach to facility management is a structured framework for designers and operators to learn and refine their understanding of the site over time by comparing measured and expected behaviour. This reduce uncertainties to levels much lower than what can be achieved from a typical prescriptive based design approach.
This keynote will highlight the key concepts of a performance-based approach, supported by examples, and how it can be used to support tailings facility closure through increased understanding of the site and reduced uncertainties.
With over two decades of experience focused on tailings management, Rick's career in geotechnical engineering started as a co-op student at KCB in 2000. Since then, he has advanced his career in technical and management roles, becoming a trusted advisor to peers and mining clients. Rick's work has taken him across Canada and the world, including spending 3.5 years in KCB's Brisbane, Australia office. With a broad range of experience, he has been involved in the design, construction, operational stewardship, independent review, and closure of tailings storage facilities, mine water management, and other earth-fill structures.
Rick is currently the Engineer of Record for active and closed tailings storage facilities which store thousands to billions of tonnes of tailings. Over the past few years, a focus of his work has been on developing and implementing performance-based approaches to design, management and planning several tailings storage facilities.
Rick is currently a registered professional engineer in British Columbia and in the states of Alaska and Arizona. He completed his B.A.Sc. and M.Eng. in Geological Engineering at the University of British Columbia.