The CDA 2017 Conference is offering informative professional development workshops on specific topics, providing delegates with important opportunities to improve their understanding, develop skills and discuss with peers and experts in their field.

List of Pre-Conference Workshops

Professional development workshops will be held Oct. 13 and 14, prior to the conference.

Workshop A: Tailings Dam Breach Assessment: Update on the Draft Guidance
Workshop B: Dam Safety Reviews 
Workshop C: Stability Analysis for Mining Dams
Workshop D: Dam Safety for Small Dam Owners & Owners of Small Dams
Workshop E: APEGBC Site Characterization of Dam Foundations
Workshop F: Emergency Management & Response:  Update on the Draft Guidance


Registration for these workshops will be available via the Conference registration system, see the Registration button. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by e-mail at

On-line Registration System

Workshop A – Tailings Dam Breach Assessment: Update on the Draft Guidance (½ day)

Saturday, October 14, 2017, 8:30 am to 12 pm

CDA's Tailings Dam Breach Working Group (WG) under the direction of CDA Mining Dam Committee (MDC) organized workshops on tailings dam breach analyses in 2014 and 2015. These workshops captured the current state of practice in this field, and presented alternate and advanced analyses methods that are either used in practice or are in the development stage. These workshops highlighted how improved dam breach analyses enhance current dam safety practices, and identified issues or gaps to advance the current state of practice. One of the main gaps acknowledged by the WG was a lack of guidance documents that would allow the dam owners and dam professionals carry out effective and adequate dam breach assessment for their tailings dams.

Following the 2015 Workshop, the Dam Breach WG undertook an initiative to develop a Technical Bulletin that would provide guidance specific to conducting tailings dam breach assessments. The WG started its work on the Bulletin mid-2016 and has compiled a draft version to be presented at the 2017 CDA Conference.

This forum-style workshop is intended to update the tailings dam professionals, owners and regulators on the WG’s progress and present the draft Technical Bulletin, which will include an overview of the Table of Contents, tailings dam breach assessment flow chart, and discussion of the key technical steps.

The workshop will be led by several WG members. Participants will be encouraged to share their views and comments on the draft Bulletin.  The WG will incorporate input from the participants prior to finalizing and publishing the Technical Bulletin.
Registration Fee for Workshop A (1/2 day):   $195 plus GST

Workshop B – Dam Safety Reviews (1 day)

Date: Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

This workshop presents the concepts and process developed in the Canadian Dam Association's recently completed Technical Bulletin on Dam Safety Reviews. A case study is a key component of the workshop, and delegates will work through how to scope a dam safety review, how to work through the hazard-failure mode-control aspect of the safety analysis, and how to present the findings of a dam safety review.

The workshop is aimed at dam owners, consultants and regulators who want to know what the Canadian Dam Association considers to be good practice for dam safety reviews.

All instructors have gone through a training program from the CDA Dam Safety Reviews Working Group.

Note: The CDA Technical Bulletin on Dam Safety Reviews is not required but is recommended. Please bring your copy with you. If you do not have a copy but wish to purchase one, you can do so from "Shop CDA " on this website; a limited supply will be available for purchase on the day of the workshop.

Registration Fee for Workshop B (1 day):   $390 plus GST

This workshop is sponsored by:  

Workshop C – Stability Analysis for Mining Dams (½ day)

Saturday, October 14, 2017, 1 pm to 5 pm

This workshop will provide an update on methods and approaches that should be utilized for stability analyses of earth dams in the mining sector.  The topics to be covered include:
1.      Applicability of drained and undrained stability analyses when potentially contractive materials are in the dam section.
2.      Role of risk assessment in stability evaluation.
3.      Role of deformation analyses and relationship to limit equilibrium analyses.
4.      A framework for establishing suitable targets for factor of safety including consideration of consequences and triggers.
5.      An overview of stability analysis and deformation analysis models.
6.      Selecting parameters for stability calculations and spatial variability.  
7.      Seismic stability.
Presenters will be: 
Andy Small, Amec Foster Wheeler
Chad LePoudre, SNC Lavalin
Scott Martens, CNRL
Mauricio Pinheiro, Thurber
Todd Martin, Anglo American

The overall goal of this workshop is to create a paper for publication in the quarterly CDA Bulletin that reflects the state of practice for stability analyses for mining dams.  There will be opportunities during and after the workshop for the workshop participants to contribute to the discussion and the paper.  Note that the items discussed in this workshop are applicable to earth dams in the non-mining sector as well. 
Registration Fee for Workshop C (1/2 day):   $195 plus GST

Workshop D – Dam Safety for Small Dam Owners & Owners of Small Dams (1 Day)

Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

This workshop is intended to advance the skills and knowledge base of small dam owners.  An introduction to dam owner responsibilities and best practices for a dam safety management system will be outlined.  Focus of the workshop will be dedicated to the introduction of dam safety practices and concepts that will reduce the risk of a failure.

This workshop is not intended for the experienced dam engineer.

Content will consist of:
  • Risks posed by dams

  • Dam Owner responsibilities

  • Introduction to a Dam Safety Management System

  • Understanding potential hazards and failure modes

  • Planning for a new dam or modifying or rehabilitating an existing dam

  • Advanced Operations, Maintenance and Surveillance (OMS) practices

Registration Fee for Workshop D (1 day): $195 plus GST

For dam operators residing in British Columbia and Yukon:
Registered as course 8390 under the ECOP.  Approved as Core for WD - WT - SWS - as Related for WWC - WWT - SWWS - For 0.60 CEUs

Workshop E – APEGBC Site Characterization of Dam Foundations (1 day)

Sunday, October 15, 2017, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

This workshop provides practical instructions on how to apply the recently published “Site Characterization for Dam Foundation in BC” Guidelines.

Though the guidelines were developed in BC to help identify an appropriate standard of professional practice for site characterization, the technical content is universally applicable.

This standard of practice provides a framework for adequate site characterization for dam foundations, to improve dam safety and ensure that incidents such as the one at Mount Polley will not be repeated.

Registration Fee for Workshop E (1 day):   $390 plus GST

Workshop F – Emergency Management & Response: Update on the Draft Guidance (½ day)

Sunday, October 15, 2017, 8:30 am to 12 pm

The purpose of the Workshop is to present the draft new Technical Bulletin and seek feedback from the Workshop participants on specific issues.

This is an interactive, forum-style workshop in which delegates are expected to contribute their knowledge, in addition to learning from their peers and workshop leaders.

Registration Fee for Workshop F (1/2 day):   $195 plus GST