Caius Priscu

Caius Priscu

Adjunct Professor

Mine Waste Management; Dam Safety and Risk Management; Tailings Management and Governance.




Education

McGill University, 1999, Ph.D, Mining Engineering (Mine Waste Management)
McGill University, 1993, M.Eng, Civil Engineering (Geotechnical)
Civil Engineering Inst. (Bucharest), 1989, MSc Hydraulic Structures

Biography

Dr. Caius Priscu is a senior geotechnical engineer with over 30 years of experience in the mining and water resources industries. He is currently the Global Head of Mineral Residue Facilities and Water Management at Anglo American in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.
Dr. Priscu’s background is in both Civil and Mining Engineering, working with a general contractor team, in consulting engineering, and as owner/operator of tailings and water retaining dams. His career focus has been on the planning, design, construction, operation and closure of tailings impoundments and water retention dams. Over the last decade he has been concerned with dam safety, risk management of dams, and the development of standards and guidance for safe design and operation of mine waste management facilities. He has published 50 conference papers on these subjects.

Dr. Priscu Dr. Priscu has been a tireless volunteer and true supporter of many technical not-for-profit organizations including the Canadian Dam Association (CDA), the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (CIM), the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS), the Chilean National Committee on Large Dams (ICOLD Chile), member of the ICOLD Committee H on Dam Safety, and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and its working subcommittees on tailings dams.

Research Interests

Tailings and water retaining dam safety;

Dam monitoring and surveillance technologies;

Risk-informed management for tailings storage facilities;

Portfolio risk management for tailings and water retaining dams

Governance models for managing tailings storage facilities

Contact Information

Office: FWD 507

Email: caius.priscu@ubc.ca

Teaching

MINE 480 Mine Waste Management

Professional Employment History

  • Anglo American – Head of Mineral Residue Facilities and Water Management,
    Santiago, Chile (2013 to 2019), and Vancouver, BC (February 2019 to present);
  • AMEC Environment and Infrastructure (now Wood plc) – Sr. Assoc. Geotechnical Engineer, MB, and Western Canada Mining Sector Lead, Burnaby, BC, Canada, (2004 to 2013)
  • Acres Manitoba Ltd. (now HATCH Ltd.) – Sr. Geotechnical Engineer, Winnipeg, MB, Canada (1999 to 2004)
  • Independent Geotechnical Consultant – Montreal, QC, Canada (1997 to 1999)
  • Groupe Axor Inc. – Geotechnical Project Engineer, Montreal, QC, Canada (1994 to 1997)
  • CIMA + Ingenieurs Conseils – Geotechnical Engineer, Laval, QC, Canada, (1993 to 1994)
  • Hidroconstructia SA – Junior Site Engineer, Romania, (1987 to 1990)

Selected Publications

  • Priscu, C. (2020): “Tailings Dam Safety Management and Governance Framework at Anglo American”. SMI MineExchange 2020 Annual Conference, Society for Mining and Exploration, Phoenix, AZ, United States, 25 February 2020.
  • Priscu, C. (2019): “The Owner’s Golden Triangle in Tailings Dam Safety Management”. Invited luncheon keynote speaker presentation, Tailings and Mine Waste 2019 Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 17-20 November 2019.
  • Bain, A., Motselebane, M., Gardner, T., and Priscu, C. (2019): “Tailings Dam Safety: Is Waste Rock Coming to the Rescue?”. In Tailings and Mine Waste 2019 Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 17-20 November 2019.
  • Priscu, C. (2019): “Tailings Dam Safety: Going Beyond Technical”. Invited keynote speaker presentation, Paste2019, 22nd International Conference on Paste, Thickened, and Filtered Tailings, ACG, Cape Town, South Africa, 07 May 2019.
  • Cameron-Ellis, D.G, Priscu, C., Blaeser, M., and Wright, H.J. (2019): “The Need for Thorough Dam Safety Reviews on Existing Dam Structures”. In 3rd International Conference and Exhibition on Water Storage and Hydropower Development for Africa, Windhoek, Namibia, 2-4 April 2019.
  • Priscu, C. (2018): “Geotechnical Engineering and Dam Safety – Future Developments”. Invited speaker, ICOLD Chile. 10th Annual Conference of SOCHIGE, Valparaiso, Chile, 3-5 December 2018.
  • Priscu, C. (2018): “The Need for a Paradigm Shift in Dam Safety Management”. Opening keynote address, in 5th International Seminar on Tailings Management, Tailings 2018, Santiago, Chile, July 2018.
  • Cano, C., Priscu, C., Gardner, T., and Pavez, M (2018): “Best Practices in Tailings Management at Las Tortolas TSF”. In 5th International Seminar on Tailings Management, Tailings 2018, Santiago, Chile, July 2018.
  • Priscu, C. (2018): “The Role of the Responsible Person at Mining Operations”. Invited workshop presentation, in Workshop on the State of Practice in Water, Tailings and Mineral Waste Management, organized by ESRM & MAC. CIM 2018 Convention, Vancouver, Canada, May 6, 2018.
  • Priscu, C., Martin, T., Gardner, T., Motselebane, M. (2017): “Operational Dam Safety and the Human Error Element”, in 4th International Seminar on Tailings Management, Tailings 2017, Santiago, Chile, July 2017.
  • Priscu, C. (2017): “Dam Safety and Risk Management – Opportunities and Challenges”. Invited keynote speaker presentation, 2nd Seminar on Risk Management and Safety of Tailings Dams, Comite Brasileiro de Barragens (CBDB), 15-16 May 2017, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
  • Fleming, H., Priscu, C. and Newman, P (2017): “Smart Water Technologies”, feature article; Chemical Engineer Magazine, January 2017.
  • Priscu, C. (2016): “Dam Safety Around the World – an Update of Current Efforts”. Invited speaker, ICOLD Chile / Chilean National Committee on Large Dams meeting, Monday, 12 December 2016, Santiago, Chile.
  • Priscu, C. (2016): “Dam Safety and Portfolio Risk Management Opportunities and Challenges”. Invited panelist, Mining Association of Canada MAC & IBRAM joint session on Sustainable Tailings Management, World Mining Congress, 17 to 21 October 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Priscu, C. (2014): “Dam Safety and the Geotechnical Practice – An Intrinsic and Critical Relation”, invited keynote speaker at the 2014 Chilean National Geotechnical Association Conference, SOCIGE, November 27 to 29, 2014, Santiago, Chile.
  • Priscu, C. (2014): “Operational Challenges: Top 5 Questions to Ask Ourselves in Managing the Risks at Tailings Facilities”, Invited Panelist, in 2nd International Tailings Seminar, Tailings 2014, Antofagasta, Chile.
  • Priscu, C., Gardner, T., Maldonado, R., Gomez, L. F., and Cano, C. (2014): “Option Analyses Criteria for Tailings Disposal Methods: the Owner’s Perspective”, in 2nd International Tailings Seminar, Tailings 2014, Antofagasta, Chile.
  • Priscu, C. (2013): “Tailings Management is About Water Management: 10 Lessons Learned”, Invited Guest Speaker, 2nd Latin American Mine Water Conference, August 27 to 28, 2013, Santiago, Chile.
  • Priscu, C. (2013): “Canadian Dam Association Update and Debrief – Dike Safety Workshop”, in Proceedings of the Levee and Embankment Workshop, 81st Annual Meeting of the International Commission on Large Dams, August 10 to 14, 2013, Seattle, WA.
  • Priscu, C., Humbert, B., Sibbick, S, Sidenko, N., and  Mathers, K (2012): “EL Mine Site Closure Implementation in Northwestern Manitoba”, in Proceedings of the British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Mine Reclamation, BC TRCR’s 36th Annual Mine Reclamation Symposium, September 17 to 20, 2012, Kamloops, BC.
  • Priscu, C., Ketilson, E., McLean, A., and Gonzales, N. (2012): “Prioritization Framework for Implementation of Action Items Along the Red River Valley Flood Protection Dikes in Manitoba”, AMEC Technical Summit, New York, New York.
  • Sidenko, N., Mathers, K., Priscu, C. and Sibbick, S. (2012): “Evaluation of Water Quality Changes for Mine Waste Disposal in Pit Lake, Former EL Mine Site Manitoba, Canada“, in Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD), May 20 to 26, 2012, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
  • Priscu, C., Trollope, A., Slater, J., Kaczmarek, S., and Verma, N. (2011): “Managing Short Term Risks at Kerr Mine Tailings Impoundment”, in Proceedings of the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) 2011 Annual Conference, October 15 to 20, 2011, Fredericton, NB, Canada.
  • Priscu, D., Armitt, E., and Priscu, C. (2010): ” Manitoba’s Orphaned and Abandoned Mine Site Rehabilitation Program – 10 Years in the Making”, in Mine Closure 2010 – 5th   International Conference on Mine Closure, 23 – 26 November 2010, Santiago, Chile.
  • Chiti, P.L. and Priscu, C. (2010): “Risk Assessment of Tailings Facilities: A Client-Specific
  • Approach”, AMEC Technical Summit, Inverness, CO, September 25 to 27.
  • Priscu, C., Aldea, C. M, Wong, W.K, Dunham, D, and Lumley, B (2010): “Minimizing Environmental Impacts in Rehabilitating Remote Abandoned Mine Sites”, in 35th CLRA/ACRSD Annual General Meeting and 34th British Columbia Mine Reclamation Conference, September 20 – 23, 2010, Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Priscu, C., Wong, W.K., Armitt, E., and Priscu, D. (2009): “Hazard-based Model Application to Prioritize and Manage Mine Site Rehabilitation in Manitoba”, in Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Environmental Issues and Waste Management in Energy and Mineral Production (SWEMP 2009),  November 16 to 19, 2009,  Banff, Alberta, Canada.
  • Priscu, C., Small, A., Lupo, J, Diaz, M., Davies, M., and Musse, M. (2009): “Mining Dams Safety Regulations – Where Does Canada Stand?” in Proceedings of the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) 2009 Annual Conference, October 3 to 8, 2009, Whistler, BC, Canada.
  • Sherriff, B.L., Ferguson, I.J., Gupton, M.W., VanGulck, J.F., Sidenko, N., Priscu, C., Perez- Flores, M. and Gomez-Trevino, E. (2009). “A Geophysical and Geotechnical Study to Determine the Hydrological Regime of the Central Manitoba Gold Mine Tailings Deposit”. Can. Geotech. J. 46: 69-80 (2009).
  • Priscu, C. (2008): “Responsible Tailings Management: Planning for Closure”, International
    Symposium on Mine Closure and Reclamation, University of Atacama, Copiapo, Chile, June.
  • Priscu, C. and Bleiker, D.E (2008): “Managing Environmental Risks for the Mining Industry”, Invited Guest Speakers, Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM), Saskatoon Branch, January.
  • Priscu, C., Desgroseilliers, A. and Davies, M. P. (2007). “Sustainable Long Term Closure and Reclamation Solutions at Manibridge Mine Site in Manitoba”, Mining and the Environment Conference, October 20 to 27, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
  • Ott, B., Priscu, C., and Baker, S. (2007). “Preparation of a Remedial Action Plan for Roberts Bay and Ida Bay Abandoned Mine Sites in Nunavut, Canada”, Northern Latitudes Conference, May 16 to 19, Juneau, Alaska, U.S.
  • Priscu, C. and Wong, W.K. (2006). “Hazard Assessment of Crown Owned Inactive Mine Sites in Manitoba”, Manitoba Mining and Minerals Convention, November 20 to 22, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Priscu, C., Warren, J.C, Woollett, G., Osiowy, K., Harris, C., Buchko, J., and Martin, R. (2006). “Remediation of Two Remote Abandoned Silver Mines in a Pristine Arctic Environment in Nunavut, Canada”, Federal Contaminated Sites National Workshop, March 7-10, 2006, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Gupton, M., Sherriff, B.L., Priscu, C. and VanGulck, J. (2004). “Hydrology of the Central Manitoba Mine Tailings”, 57th Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 5th joint IAH-CNC- CGS Conference, Quebec City, Quebec.
  • Priscu, C. (2002). “The CDA Dam Safety Guidelines – How Do They Affect You?”, Communication, Manitoba Mining and Minerals Convention, Winnipeg, Manitoba, November.
  • Priscu, C. (1999). “Behavior of Mine Tailings Dams Under High Tailings Deposition Rates”, Ph.D. thesis, Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.
  • Priscu, C., Mitri, H.S., and Keira, H. (1999). “Evaluation of Mine Tailings Dams Behavior – A Case Study”, Proc. of the 6th Int. Conf. on Tailings and Mine Waste ’99, Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins, Colorado, A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 325-334, January.
  • Priscu, C. (1998). “An Integrated Model for Construction Simulation and Stability Evaluation of Mine Tailings Dams”, Communication, Canadian Geotechnical Society – Montreal Branch, Montreal, May.
  • Priscu, C., Mitri, H.S., and Keira, H. (1998). “Behavior of Mine Tailings Dams Under High Tailings Deposition Rates”, Proc. of the 5th Int. Conf. on Tailings and Mine Waste ’98, Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins, Colorado, A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 231-240, January.
  • Labelle, R., Priscu, C. and Keira, H. (1996). “Simple, Accurate and Inexpensive Use of Computers in Consulting Engineering Firms”, in O. Moselhi, C. Bedard and S. Alkass (eds.): Proc. of the 3rd Can. Conf. on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, pp. 738-747, Montreal, Quebec, August.
  • Keira, H., Priscu, C. and Touileb, B. (1995). “Applications of Finite Element Techniques in the Analyses of Stresses and Deformations of Tailings Dams”, in H.S. Mitri (ed.): Proc. of the 3rd Can. Conf. on Computer Applications in the Mineral Industry, CAMI ’95, pp. 873-882, Montreal, Quebec, October.
  • Priscu, C. (1993). ”Soil-Reinforcement Interface Modeling by the Finite Element Method”, M.Eng project, Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.
  • Priscu, C. (1989). “Rucar Underground Hydropower Plant: Comparative Study of Excavation Methods” M.Sc thesis, Faculty of Hydrotechnics, Civil Engineering Institute of Bucharest, Romania.