Tailings Dam Monitoring
- Subheading: Sille.Space assessments could have prevented the collapse of the Cadia Hill gold mine tailing dam
Newcrest’s Cadia Hill gold mine tailings dam, Australia.
Continuing with our case-study series, in 2018, a section of Newcrest’s Cadia Hill gold mine tailings dam collapsed, putting people and the environment at risk. Tailings contain by-products of mining that are harmful to the environment and human health. Shares in Australia's biggest gold miner, Newcrest Mining also fell, more than 5% when news broke of the breach.
Sille.Space macro view of the site:
An independent technical review board (link to the report), concluded that the wall breach was caused by an underlying weakness in the embankment. Deformation at this dam section was max. 106mm + velocity 40mm a year, with the deformation speed accelerating prior to the section collapse. A clear warning sign of a high-risk area.
On-site monitoring did not trigger any alarms and the dam was not appropriately reinforced. Sille.Space's detailed view of the collapsed section of the tailings dam shows that it was in the high-risk zone two years prior to the loss event.
Sille.Space detailed view of the collapsed section of the tailings dam:
Image source: The Sydney Morning Herald & Sille.Space
The collapse could have been prevented if Sille.Space’s assessments would have been in-use.
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