Expert to speak on Canadian tailings spill during Tailings Seminar

Dirk Van Zyl, Professor of Mining and the Environment at the University of British Columbia in Canada, will deliver a plenary lecture on the lessons learned from the disaster caused by the dam of the Mount Polley mine. 

August 04 2015

August marks a year since one of the worst environmental disasters in Canadian history when a breach of the Imperial Metals-owned Mount Polley copper and gold mine tailings pond released close to 25 million cubic meters of materials (equivalent to 10.000 Olympic swimming pools), according to the company, polluting rivers, lakes, forests and roads. 

This disaster will be the topic of one of the plenary sessions of the 3rd International Seminar on Tailings Management which will take place between August 19 and 21 in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Santiago. Dirk van Zyl, Chair of Mining and the Environment at the University of British Columbia, Canada and Co-chair of the seminar will deliver this plenary session entitled: Mount Polley failure: reviewing the causes, recommendations and progress since failure.  

The seminar will also feature five other plenary sessions, two panels discussion (“Integrating Tailings Design and Operation for Enhanced Productivity” and “The Future of Tailings Management”) as well as a technical visit to the El Mauro dam, part of Minera Los Pelambres Mine.  

Tailings 2015, which is organized by the University of British Columbia and Gecamin, will be chaired by Sergio Valdebenito, Plants and Tailings Manager, Minera Los Pelambres.

More information: