Keynote Speakers
R.M. Hardy Keynote Address by Harvey McLeod
History of Tailings Dam Design and Innovation and Practice Changes Required in the Wake of the Mount Polley Mine Tailings Breach

The design and construction of tailings dams has evolved worldwide over the last 100 years. In British Columbia, major advances occurred since the 1960’s when dam engineering technology was applied to their construction. Since that time, tailings technologies and tailings dam designs have continued to advance in the mining industry. However, in parallel with these advances, there have been increased complexities associated with many factors including: increased consideration of environmental protection and long term sustainability; increases in mining rates, and continued variability in types of tailings and the physiographic, environmental and social settings that mines are constructed in. This paper describes the history of tailings dam design and construction, with emphasis on British Columbia but with examples drawn from international practice. The investigations into the circumstances surrounding the failure of the Mount Polley tailings dam highlighted that practice in design, construction and operation are highly variable and that ongoing innovation and adherence to good practice are required to reduce the risk to the public and the environment. Knowledge and application of Best Available Technologies (BAT) and Best Available Practices (BAP) are not widely disseminated in the industry and are often misapplied. This paper will describe the state of practice for design and the BATs that are available in the design and management of tailings facilities.

Harvey McLeod, P.Eng., P.Geo.
Principal and Vice President Strategic Marketing - Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.

Harvey McLeod is a geotechnical engineer with a B.A.Sc. in Geological Engineering from The University of British Columbia and a Diploma from The University of London - Imperial College in Soil Mechanics. Harvey has been a leader in the evolution and development of mine tailings management practices, and over his 40 year career, he has worked on over 100 tailings dams in more than 20 countries. He is currently the Chairman of International Commission of Large Dams (ICOLD) subcommittee on Tailings Dams and active in the Canadian Dam Association (CDA). He has authored more than 20 technical papers. He was one of the contributing authors to the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of British Columbia’s (APEGBC) Professional Practice Guidelines - Legislated Dam Safety Reviews in BC, March 2014.

In addition to the expertise he has developed in the scientific and engineering aspects of mine waste, Harvey has championed the integration of socio-environmental responsibility with the engineered aspects of tailings and waste rock. Harvey was the recipient of the 2013 Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) - Robert R. Hedley Award for “Excellence in Social and Environmental Sustainability”.

Harvey has been supporting the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) with its investigation into the August 2014 Mount Polley failure, and is working with the CDA, APEGBC, and MEM to incorporate lessons learned from Mount Polley into practice, and to improve guidelines and regulations for tailings dams.


CGS Colloquium by Jasmin Raymond
Assessment of the Subsurface Thermal Conductivity for Geothermal Applications

The construction of green buildings using geothermal energy requires geo-scientists and engineers to evaluate the thermal state and properties of the ground. In situ assessment of the subsurface temperature and thermal conductivity is commonly performed to design the heating and cooling system of commercial buildings with ground-coupled heat pumps. Those two parameters have a high impact on the operating temperature of ground heat exchangers (GHEs), consequently affecting the length of boreholes needed to fulfill the energy needs and the savings provided by the system. The demand for such services has increased rapidly since the geothermal heat pump market in Canada grew by more than 35% from 2006 to 2009. A review of field methods used to measure the subsurface thermal conductivity in the scope of geothermal system design will be presented during the Canadian Geotechnical Colloquium.

The most commonly used method for direct assessments is the thermal response test (TRT) fully developed in the 90’s with mobile apparatus. The TRT consists of circulating heated water in a pilot GHE installed in a borehole, where temperature and flow rate are monitored. The transient temperature response is analyzed to evaluate the subsurface thermal conductivity. Heat injection can also be achieved with a heating cable inserted into the GHE to conduct a TRT without flowing water, the latter being affected by surface temperature variations. An apparatus with heating cable sections has recently been developed to keep a low power requirement, hence facilitating the test. Indirect methods are now emerging as alternatives to TRTs. Interpretation of geophysical well logs are a viable option to infer the subsurface thermal conductivity. The inverse modeling of a temperature profile measured in an exploration well can further help to assess the subsurface thermal conductivity, when knowing the terrestrial heat flow. In Canada, the terrestrial heat flow has been determined over 40% of the territory, restricting the interpretation of temperature profiles to specific regions. Laboratory measurements performed on samples collected in surface outcrops or drilled cores can finally be achieved. For example, thermal conductivity data have been synthesized through a thermostratigraphic assessment of the St. Lawrence Lowlands to evaluate the geothermal potential of this sedimentary basin. Geostatistical simulations were then carried out to map the spatial distribution of the subsurface thermal conductivity at the urban district scale to the north of Montreal. Such projects will be presented to highlight geothermal research trends relevant to geotechnicians involved in the building industry.                        

Jasmin Raymond, Ph.D., Professor
Institue national de la recherche scientifique, Centre Eau Terre Environnement


Interested in geothermal energy, Professor Jasmin Raymond is conducting research work on low to medium temperature resources, including heat pump systems. The main objective of his projects, done in collaboration with geothermal designers, operators and manufacturers, is to improve the efficiency and profitability systems by providing scientific and technological innovations. Field testing and numerical modeling are the main activities he carries out.

Mr Raymond is a hydrogeologist and he teaches geothermal energy basics at Institut national de la recherche scientifique in Quebec City. He obtained his Ph.D. at Laval University and a B.Sc. at McGill University. During his young career, he received numerous prices such as a Banting Scholarship for his postdoctoral research. He currently holds a research chair from l’Institut nordique du Québec to investigate the geothermal potential of northern communities and mines. Highly involved in the scientific community, he participates to a task group of the Canadian Standard Association on geothermal heat pumps and the geothermal advisory committee of Geoscience BC.  He also coauthored a report from the Geological Survey of Canada on the geothermal potential of the country. 


GeoVancouver 2016 will also be featuring the 2016 CGS Graduate Student Paper on October 4, 2016. Further information will be provided at a later date.

 Dr. Jacques Locat, Laval University 
The September 19th 1889 Rock Slide Along Champlain Street in Québec City, A Catastrophe Foretold By Charles Baillargé

The 1889 rock slide along Champlain Street is the one that caused the largest number of fatalities among the many landslides that took place in this area of Québec City during the 19th century. This event marked a significant step in our way of looking at these events from both technical and political viewpoints. This paper presents a historical perspective of the events leading to the 1889 slide, starting with the 1841 slide which was also quite significant. Already in 1840, signs of this major hazard along the cliff were reported. Mitigation measures were initiated mainly after 1880 but they were not sufficient to prevent the major catastrophe expected by those who did the investigation of the Champlain Cliff. Baillargé, in particular, carried out a detailed survey in 1879 and proposed mitigation measures that would have likely prevented the consequences of the 1889 slide had they been followed completely. The story of the 1889 slide ends in 1894 by an interesting judgment by the Supreme Court of Canada, in which The Queen was not held responsible for the consequences of the slide, although the main trigger was the water draining from the Citadel into the cliff fissures. It is only in 1960 that major stabilization work was carried out under the Dufferin Terrace. This paper also highlights the significant contribution of Charles Baillargé (1826-1906) in the understanding of rock slide processes along the Champlain Cliff.

Jacques Locat Ph.D., Professor
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Laval University



Jacques Locat is the winner of the 2015 R.F. Legget Medal Award. He is well recognized both nationally and internationally. He became a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 1997, won the K.Y.  Lo Medal in 2005 for his contributions at the international level, was invited to deliver the 22nd Bjerrum Lecture in 2009, and obtained the Schuster Medal jointly from the Canadian Geotechnical Society and the American Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists in 2013.

Jacques has a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Québec in Montréal, An M.Sc. in Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology from the University of Waterloo and a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Sherbrooke.   His academic carrier started at Laval University in 1981, with his main research focus on soft sediments, submarine mass movement and their consequences.









  CGS Venue West