Mining engineer Paul Rantala of Sudbury is hoping more people in his industry will take a fresh look at the issue of tailings dams safety. He is not alone.
Rantala was commenting on the disastrous failure of the tailings dam at the Córrego de Feijão mine, near the community of Brumadinho in Brazil on January 25, 2019. It is believed that more than 400 persons died when millions of litres of mud and tailings swept through a low-lying area for several kilometres.
The tailings failure occurred at the mine owned by Vale S.A., an international mining company based in Brazil, which also has several operations in Sudbury.
Rantala, who is a consulting engineer, said he was saddened and disappointed when he heard of the tailings disaster. But he said it was not entirely unexpected. “Well basically when you research this you see there’s almost one major failure every year,” he said
“These are numbers that are out there. I think there’s about five per year that are smaller. Being in the industry, you know, people don’t want to hear this,” said Rantala.
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