Barr was commissioned by a confidential client to conduct an independent dam safety review (DSR) of a very large tailings-storage facility (TSF) in Mexico. This external TSF, built using centerline construction, is classified as an extreme consequence facility based on the highest potential consequence and/or the failure scenario that would result in the worst consequences, which requires a DSR be completed every five years. The DSR was conducted in general accordance with standard practices and regulatory requirements.
Barr’s DSR consisted of reviews of documents (dam design, slope stability, seismic, shear strength, hydrotechnical and freeboard, risk control); construction (foundation and embankment materials, tailings materials); operations, maintenance, and surveillance (instrumentation and monitoring, manual); and safety management and emergency preparedness, public safety, and security. The DSR also included site inspection and staff interviews (governance, consequence classification, design assessment) and a dam safety report (analysis and findings of deficiencies, non-conformances, and recommendations).
Among the primary topics addressed were shear strength characterization of the tailings and foundation soils, deformation of the dam, instrumentation thresholds, and static liquefaction, in addition to operational and governance topics.