Course: Tailings Dams Stability Analysis: Recent Advances in Numerical Analysis & 3D Modelling

Course Details

  • Date: November 6th - 8th, 2023
  • Venue: Hotel Boulevard Plaza, Sala Strauss, Av. Getúlio Vargas, 1640 Belo Horizonte, MG 30112-024
  • Schedule: 9 am to 5 pm
  • Instructors: This course will be in English, instructed by Dr. Reginald Hammah, Director of Rocscience Africa.
  • Registration Fees:
    • Early Bird Price - $1195 USD (until September 30th, 2023)
    • Regular Price - $1395 USD

What’s included:

  • Temporary software licenses
  • PDF of course materials
  • PDH Certificate
  • Lunch & Snacks

Please note:

  • Registrants will be responsible for their own accommodation
  • Participants must bring their own laptops (and mice)
  • Participant numbers are limited

Course Outline

Through a mix of presentations and 'hands-on' tutorials based on practical TSF embankment examples, the course will cover the following topics:

The Craft of Tailings Engineering

  • The changing nature – and permanence – of TSFs
  • The need to predict TSF performance/stability by computation and modelling

Mechanical Behaviour of Soils and Tailings

  • Fundamental characteristics of soil behaviours - shearing responses of granular material (soils and tailings)
    • Volume changes under shearing – dilative and contractive responses to loading.
    • Change in stiffness with stress and strain levels
    • Density/void ratio/state
    • Dilatancy (dilation angle)
    • Drained (effective stress) vs undrained (total stress) analyses
    • Brittle vs ductile behaviour
    • Consolidation
    • Post-peak and residual behaviour
    • Critical state/liquefaction
    • Parameters for characterizing the mechanical behaviour of soils and tailings.
  • Constitutive material relationships, including critical state soil mechanics laws.

Overview of TSF Stability Analysis and Modelling with Software

  • Failure mechanisms of TSFs
    • Slope instability
    • Foundation failure
    • Liquefaction
  • Measures of stability
    • Factor of safety
    • Probability of failure
    • Deformations
    • Seepage
  • Factors affecting embankment stability – review of inputs required for TSF stability analysis.
  • Limit equilibrium methods (LEMs)
  • Numerical methods

Fundamentals of Limit Equilibrium Methods (LEMs) and 3D Stability Analysis

  • Methods of slices (Bishop, GLE/Morgenstern, Janbu, Spencer, etc.)
  • Failure surface shapes
  • Assumptions of LEM
  • Choosing appropriate methods of slices
  • When should we model in 3D?
  • Developing 3D TSF models
  • Interpreting 3D LEM results

Numerical Methods

  • Stress-deformation analysis
  • How stress-deformation analysis (deformations, strains, stress states, pore water pressures, etc.) can be used to assess dam safety and performance.
  • Overview /fundamentals of numerical methods – finite element method (FEM), finite difference method (FDM), boundary element method (BEM), discrete element method (DEM)
  • Shear strength reduction (SSR) method for calculating slope factors of safety.
  • Development of relevant stress-deformation analysis (numerical) models that capture real-world TSF performance.
    • Understanding different drainage conditions – drained, undrained, and coupled (consolidation) conditions
    • Modelling pore pressures in tailings dams and foundations
    • Evaluating stability (factors of safety) and deformations under various loadings (including liquefaction potential under static loadings)
    • Where to put model boundaries
    • Boundary conditions to be applied.
    • Meshing of models

Verification of Models and Model Assumptions

  • Capturing of diverse geotechnical and hydrogeological conditions, material behaviours (and associated strength parameters) under various loadings and multiple construction stages
  • Judgement of analysis outputs for reasonableness (results that reflect actual performance and reproduce the essential aspects of TSF behaviours

Seepage and Groundwater Analyses

  • Pore pressure changes in TSF embankments, stored tailings, and foundation
  • Modelling pore pressures in tailings dams and foundations
    • Steady-state seepage analysis
    • Transient analysis
    • Coupled analysis
    • Excess pore pressure

For any additional queries, please reach out to our Latin American team.


Course Instructor:

Dr. Reginald Hammah

Dr. Reginald Hammah, Ph.D., P.Eng. Director of Rocscience Africa holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and brings over 20 years of experience in rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering. He uniquely blends practical problem-solving experience with software tools and theoretical understanding of geotechnical behavior. He is well known for breaking down complex problems into simpler, more familiar, and solvable components.