The Need to do Better – Risk, Ethics & Tailings Dams

Posted on February 20, 2019

A conversation with Henry Brehaut and Tony Hodge

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
6:30 to 8:30
Miller Hall, Room 105

[event graphic]The Topic: On 25 January 2019 the Number 1 Tailings facility at Vale's Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine in Brazil's mining heartland of Minas Gerais failed. Some 13 million cubic metres of iron ore tailings waste swept downstream. The final death toll will likely reach 300. This failure follows the Mt. Polley tailings breach in 2014 and the Vale/BHP Samarco disaster in 2015. At a time when engineering capacity is thought to be improving and company commitment to “no harm” is clearly articulated, performance improvement isn’t following. This dilemma touches to the heart of engineering design practice, our application of risk concepts, corporate performance, government oversight, and the way engineers live by their professional ethics. The industry must do better.

The Format: Mr. Brehaut will explore these topics in a conversation with Dr. R. Anthony Hodge (Senior Scholar and Adjunct Professor at the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining Engineering) and members of the audience.

Henry Brehaut has spent all his working life in the mining industry with experience in underground and open pit mining, mine and corporate development, environment and sustainable development and corporate management. He has held executive responsibility for 9 active mines, was responsible for environmental oversight for over 20 mines. For many years he has had closure planning and costing as a major focus. He has provided executive and board level advice on sustainable development issues to governments, multilateral organizations, mining companies and industry associations. He has a B.Sc. in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.

Tony Hodge served from 2008 – 2015 as President of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), London UK a collaborative of the 24 largest mining companies in the world aimed at strengthening industry social and environmental performance. Just prior to that, in September 2007, he had been appointed the first Kinross Professor in Mining and Sustainability at Queen’s, a position he relinquished with regret to assume his duties as ICMM President.

Refreshments will be offered after the event during which conversation with Brehaut, Hodge, and other faculty members will continue.

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