The Geotechnical Society of Edmonton is pleased to present the welcome Andy Small, KCB, as the keynote speaker for our Annual General Meeting.

Date: May 16, 202
Time: 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Location: The Bell In Scona, 10416 – 80 Ave NW (2nd Floor, SW entrance) [Google Maps link]
Parking: Parking in large paid lot adjacent to venue on west side
Cost: $20 Students, $40 Members, $50 Non-members

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Registration 5:00pm – 6:00pm, Plated Dinner 6:00 – 7:00pm, AGM 7:00pm, Presentation 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Business affairs of the Geotechnical Society of Edmonton will occur at this meeting including a Special Resolution to accept the updated 2024 Bylaws. GSE Members may also put forth a motion to be discussed. AGM documents will be made available via EventBrite and in hard-copy at the venue.

Special Resolution – Adoption of New Bylaws: During the AGM, a vote will be held on a proposed special resolution to repeal the existing bylaws of the GSE and replace them with new bylaws. The final version of the new proposed bylaws, along with a formal notice of the special resolution to be voted upon, can be downloaded on the GSE website at this link.


Since the failure of the Fundão tailings dam at the Samarco mine in Brazil in 2015, the mining industry has been paying significant attention to the importance of the role that their tailings facilities play in the overall success of their mining operations. Several mining companies, professional organizations, and regulatory bodies have undertaken a number of initiatives committed to the safety of tailings facilities. This has been accelerated with the release of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) in 2020.

Fourie (et al) provided a comprehensive overview of the state of the art of geotechnics in mine tailings in 2022. As indicated in that paper, there have been significant developments in tailings facility safety and this paper will extend the work by Fourie (et al) and envision what tailings facility engineering could look like in 2030.

This presentation will describe several of the initiatives that are currently underway or planned to address and offer suggestions on where more could be done to close the gaps, reduce risks, and optimize the design of tailings facilities.  We will envision what tailings facility engineering could look like in 2030 with a focus on the technical issues and developing competency.  A survey of leaders in tailings facility engineering was conducted and the results of the survey will be summarized in this presentation.


Andy Small, P.Eng. is a geotechnical engineer that has specialized in dam safety and dam design for over 30 years. He is a geotechnical engineer, graduating from the University of New Brunswick with a B.Sc. in 1985 and a Masters from the University of Alberta in 1989. He works for Klohn Crippen Berger and is based in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  Andy is the engineer of record for several tailings facilities across Canada and has worked on several international projects. He has been an active member of CDA for over 25 years, was the lead author of the Mining Dams Bulletin that was issued in 2014, and has developed or been involved with several additional guidance documents related to tailings dam safety since then.  In 2022 and 2023, Andy chaired ICOLD’s tailings committee and was one of the contributing author’s to ICOLD’s Tailings Dam Safety Guidelines.