UWA PLUS

Basics of Tailings Geotechnics – Delivered by Future Tails

This micro-credential has been designed for professionals working in the field of tailings management. It is best suited to practicing engineers, geoscientists or individuals with significant experience in tailings in an oversight capacity and those wanting to gain knowledge on tailings management strategies. You will learn how particle size distributions are obtained and how they are used to classify geomaterials.

This includes an introduction to the concepts of plasticity and links to mineralogy. Utilisation of phase diagrams for understanding key parameters such as void ratio are described and the core concept of effective stress and its link to shear strength are discussed.

This micro-credential is the second of 12 micro-credentials (currently in development) which, if successfully completed, will lead to a Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management* at UWA.

Future Tails is a five-year initiative funded by sponsors Rio Tinto and BHP to facilitate industry understanding of best practice mine tailings management.

Upon successful completion of this micro-credential, you'll receive:
  • Two PD Points - stackable for academic credit towards the Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management*
  • A Certificate of Achievement
  • A UWA Plus Professional Development Transcript, listing all successfully completed micro-credentials

*In order to apply for the Graduate Certificate award you must have a Bachelor of Engineering degree or a degree in a related field and have met UWA’s English language competency requirements. Please refer to the Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management.

Delivery mode
Online access to learning material, on demand. Two online discussion forums will be held for students to discuss the learning material and share their own insights into the topics covered.
Course date
Registrations are open from 20 September 2021 to 10 October 2021.
The course starts on 11 October 2021. Participants will have until 10 December 2021 to complete the micro-credential.
Applications close
10 October 2021
Effort
50 hours (including online learning, personal study time and assessments)
Academic lead
Professor Andy Fourie
Cost
$1,100^ inc. GST
^Can also be taken as a non-assessed short course MINES502 $660 inc. GST
Critical information summary
MINEM502 Basics of Tailings Geotechnics [PDF 84.4KB]
Keyboard

What you'll learn

You will learn how particle size distributions are obtained and how they are used to classify geomaterials. This includes an introduction to the concepts of plasticity and links to mineralogy. Utilisation of phase diagrams for understanding key parameters such as void ratio are described and the core concept of effective stress and its link to shear strength are discussed.

Participants will be able to:

Compare tailings characterisation using the USCS and the ICOLD systems, and account for clay mineralogy

Demonstrate ability to determine parameters related to solids content, void ratio and degree of saturation and the relevance of these parameters to engineering characteristics

Account for salinity in calculations of void ratio, water content and related variables

Calculate variations in vertical effective stress for typical TSF scenarios

Keyboard 

Why study this course?

As a result of the recent Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM), there is increasing demand for tailings professionals at the same time as the industry is experiencing a shortage of personnel with appropriate training. The GISTM will bring rapid change to the way the industry manages tailings and waste. This micro-credential and the subsequent micro-credentials will allow you to keep up with standards, technologies and guidelines dealing with tailings management.

Recommended prior knowledge

It is highly recommended that students take the micro-credential MINEM501 Preparation, Transport and Deposition of Tailings prior to taking the Basics of Tailings Geotechnics. Best suited to practising engineers, geoscientists, managers or people with significant experience in tailings in an oversight capacity and those wanting to gain knowledge on tailings management strategies. This micro-credential will require engineering numerical skills. 

What's next after this course?

This micro-credential is the second in a series of 12 online micro-credentials (in development).

Students may apply for the Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management* after successfully completing the 12 micro-credentials and associated assessments.   

The third micro-credential in the series, Tailings Testing – An Introduction, will be offered in January 2022. 

*In order to apply for the Graduate Certificate award you must have a Bachelor of Engineering degree or equivalent and have met UWA’s English language competency requirements. Please refer to the Graduate Certificate in Tailings Management.

Non-assessed short course

This module is also available as a professional development course without assessment, providing online access to learning materials. Students taking it as a non-assessed short course will receive a Certificate of Participation and five professional development hours.  Students will not earn UWA PD Points or be eligible for credit, and the short course will not be listed on a UWA Professional Development Transcript.

Reduced fees apply - $660 inc. GST for the non-assessed short course. Select 'MINES502 Basics of Tailings Geotechnics' for the non-assessed short course on the registration form.