Tailings Dam Failure

Tailings Dam Failure

In one of our pilot studies of tailings dam condition surveys by InSAR there were clear signs of distress in this structure in South Africa in the months leading up to failure. 

Had regular but inexpensive and non-disruptive InSAR monitoring been undertaken, the location of instability would have been pinpointed and remedial measures undertaken to avoid the failure and pollution of a local watercourse.


  • Retrospective InSAR analysis using the same data that would have been obtained had regular monitoring been established.

  • Interpretation of results & determination of displacement trends.

  • Identification of susceptibility to failure in the area of the subsequent breach.

  • Loss of the tailings facility and pollution of a local watercourse.