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This year’s AGM will be held online using the Zoom platform. AGM documentation will be sent out to registered attendees prior to the event. The technical presentation will follow.


A current trend of tailings storage facility failures has been identified for some time now, with some events causing catastrophic consequences. This trend needs to be reversed to assure the sustainability of tailings dam operations and to maintain the social license to operate them. One way forward is the implementation of the Performance Based, Risk Informed Safe Design, Construction, Operation and Closure (PBRISD) framework as outlined in the 6th de Mello lecture. This presentation proposes that implementation of PBRISD is feasible through Safety Management Systems (including Dam Safety Programs, Risk Management Plans, OMS manuals, etc.) as outlined in guidelines and regulations; and lays a conceptual way forward for implementation. However, the presenters have identified that the big challenges for effective implementation of PBRISD are safety culture and risk communication. Addressing these challenges is therefore imperative for stopping the current trend of tailings storage facility failures. The presenters hope that properly trained practitioners, from decision makers to front line workers, with clear understanding of the operation’s risks and their personal responsibilities, accountability and liability; would promote avoidance of substandard practices and conditions associated with tailings storage. In turn, this will lead to effective implementation of PBRISD and a reduction in release events from tailings storage facilities.

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Lianne Lefsrud, Ph.D., P.Eng.

 Lianne is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta.  She researchers hazard identification, risk management and evaluation, and technology adoption in mining, railroading, pipelining, heavy construction, and other industries.  Dr. Lefsrud’s holds an interdisciplinary M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and Sociology and a Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Organization. Most recently, she was a Dow Sustainability Postdoctoral Fellow with the Erb Institute, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.  Dr. Lefsrud also spent several years with APEGA regulating engineering/geoscience.  She has also worked for a railroad, an oil and gas company, and environmental consultancies. Dr. Lefsrud’s research areas include risk management, risk acceptability / tolerability, decision-making for technological developments, computational methods.

Renato Macciotta, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Renato is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Dave and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management.  Dr. Macciotta obtained his Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Alberta, specializing in risk engineering aspects of natural and man-made slopes. He then worked as Research Associate at the University of Alberta while simultaneously providing consulting services within Canada and internationally. Renato’s areas of practice and research include risk engineering and safety assessments for natural and human-made slopes, mining structures, transport operations, dam structures and operations, ground hazards, and reclamation. His expertise also includes the geomechanical characterization of rock and soil masses, slope failure mechanisms and monitoring, rock fall detachment and trajectory analysis, and remote monitoring techniques. His work integrates his technical skills with risk engineering principles for the design and operation of engineered systems and structures.