Free webinar

Creating a historical record of tailings facility construction and deposition


In this webinar, join presenter Sam Rivet P. Eng of PhotoSat, where he will introduce attendees to the technology and processes used to produce topographic surveys from Stereo Satellite imagery.

To highlight the importance of frequent and high-quality survey data, this webinar examines how the absence of such data was identified as possible contributing factor in the Tailing’s Dam failure in Brazil.

Attendees will gain valuable insight in the development and applicability of utilizing archived Satellite imagery, going as far back as the 1960’s, to produce a history of deposition and construction for existing tailings storage facilities.

This webinar focuses on how to reconstitute, rebuild and verify the construction and deposition sequence of older Tailing Storage facilities.

Course outline:

  • Satellite Surveying Technology Background
    • Key Technical Components
    • Satellites
    • Data Processing
  • Review of tailings dam failures in Brazil
    • Dam Failure Investigation Reports
    • Fundao Dam Failure
    • Feijao Dam Failure
  • Creating a tailings facility construction and depositional history from satellite surveying
    • Mufulira Copper Mine Background
    • Available Archive Satellite Data
    • Keyhole Spy Satellite Photos
    • Building a construction and deposition history
    • Mufulira Inundation Study


Sam Rivet P. Eng is a Registered Professional Mining Engineer within the Province of Alberta.

Sam has worked at the technical level in both the mining and civil construction industry. He was a tailings, project and efficiency engineer at CNRL’s Horizon Oilsand Mine. Following that, he worked as a mining consultant for a number of Open Pit operations.

Prior to joining Photosat, he was a Project Manager on the earthworks portion of a Highway Construction project in Calgary.

Recently,  Sam joined Photosat as a Sales Engineer, lending his planning and operational surveying experience to the organization.

In Partnership with:

Based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, PhotoSat was founded in 1993 to provide “better data for better decisions”. PhotoSat has  invented a new geophysical processing technology to produce the world’s most accurate satellite survey data. 

They specialize in elevation surveying for civil engineering infrastructure projects, tailings storage facility surveying, and the planning and design of resource development projects. They deliver services to clients in the oil, gas and mining industries, to governmental agencies, and to engineering and environmental companies. Their team is comprised of geophysicists, engineers, and associated geoscientists with the expertise and experience to create reliable, time-saving solutions for the operation, planning, and development of resource projects. 

Their expertise in geophysical data processing methods combined with extensive experience enables them to provide satellite surveying with unparalleled accuracy. PhotoSat has delivered thousands of quality engineering satellite surveys which shorten project timelines, eliminate survey delays, improve data reliability, and reduce risk. They produce data with better than 15cm elevation accuracy.