During this Engineers Australia seminar we heard from Industry Experts about the current discussions surrounding the safe construction of tailings dams and the importance of regulatory guidelines and standards.

The move towards lined storages for tailings and waste rock dams has introduced a new range of design challenges for geosynthetic lining systems. Recent events such as the tailings dam collapse in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais Brazil in late January 2019, have highlighted the devastating human and environmental impact of ill-constructed dams, and draw attention to the importance of further geotechnical regulation into the design, construction, operation and closure of tailing storage facilities.

In this seminar our keynote speaker, David Williams outlined the regulatory requirements for tailings facilities and the frequency and financial impacts of tailings dam failures, drawing from case studies.

Our other industry speakers, Chris Lawson from Tencate Malaysia and Marc Amtsberg from Geofabrics, discussed the importance of geosynthetic reinforcement in successfully facilitating dewatering and closure of tailings dams and outlined the testing options available to model site conditions.

Key themes covered:

  • Safe construction of tailing dams
  • Recycling/waste and containment solutions
  • Regulatory guidelines and standards for tailing dams
  • ANCOLD guidelines
  • Victorian Standards


You can download the speakers presentations using the following links:

David Williams

Chris Lawson

Marc Amtsberg


You can watch the video of the seminar below.