Geotechnical Learnings from the Brumadinho Tailings Dam Failure

This webinar will provide participants with an overview of the findings of the Expert Panel Report on the technical causes of the Brumadinho tailings dam failure

The webinar will cover the following topics:

  • Impact of the failure on share prices
  • Impact of the failure on iron ore price
  • Geotechnical design of Dam I
  • Geotechnical design strength of tailings
  • Monitoring and failure
  • Technical causes of failure of Dam I
  • Deformations of Dam I from video
  • Satellite InSAR deformations prior to failure
  • Unsaturated zone
  • Increasing cumulative rainfall and intensity
  • Loss of suction and hence shear strength in unsaturated zone
  • Deformation modelling of Dam I failure
  • Path to failure of Dam I


David Williams is Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, Director of the Geotechnical Engineering Centre and Manager of the Large Open Pit Project at The University of Queensland. He is internationally recognised for his expertise in mine waste management and mine closure and was on the Expert Panel to investigate the technical causes of the Brumadinho tailings dam failure in Brazil.

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