Environmental Risk Assessment & Management

Group assignments for ERAM

First assignment

Assume that you have to do an analysis and an assessment of all major risks faced by an industrial or commercial organization. They are may of such risks and they are of various types: technical, financial, legal, natural (catastrophes), etc. Among these risks, there are also environmental risks (negative impacts on elements of the eco-systems). The organization may be the cause of such risks or these may come from outside as a threat to the organization.

Try to identify all these major the risks and classify them according to relevant criteria. Report on them by representing them  in some appropriate way in a graphical illustration. Assess the relative importance, in particular, of the environmental risks in relationship to the other risks - from the point of view of the organization.

Second assignment

Study of a chemical compound

  • What is EDTA? Describe the chemical structure and the main chemical properties, in particular in view of the applications.
  • What is EDTA used for? Describe some of the main applications and try to understand how the chemical properties allow for these applications. (Do not worry, there are many applications)
  • Try to find data about the volumes (quantities) of production and trends – including data about the shares of the main applications.
  • What do studies tell us about the environmental risks of EDTA? Can these risks be characterized?
  • Overall assessment: Can you as a result of your investigation give an assessment, not about the risks themselves, but about the quality (e.g., accuracy or inaccuracy) of the information relating to the risks? In other words: Do you feel well (or badly) informed about these risks? 

Third assignment

Study of an emergency case (presentation available with JCB)

  1. Read the following case study very carefully and, if needed, search for additional information about any relevant issues related with it.

  2. Prepare a statement with the following content:

    Explain micro-biological leaching technologies as applied to mining processes such as used by Talvivaara.

    In particular, pay attention to the use of sulphuric acid. Why is this required for this process? How can the health and environmental risks be controlled and eventually justified?

    Why are the CAPEX for the Talvivaara process comparatively low and why is the ramp-up time relatively short?

    ) If Uranium is to be mined as a by-product in the future, what has happened to it until now? How do you assess this situation?

    How do you assess the fact that unexpected weather conditions (unusually heavy rainfalls) can have an impact on the leaching process, leading to ad-hoc modifications and, eventually, the leak in the gypsum pond? Would this have to be known by the company before things happen?

    What is your impression of the way in which the emergence (leaking gypsum pond) was managed by the company – in the sense of technology management and in the sense of organizational management

    If you were to act as financial adviser on an bankability feasibility study, how would you assess the statement by the company that that their leaching technology is „proven“?

    What is you impression of the company‘s management of its problems (including a change of top management)

    What is your impression about the role of the regional environmental agency „Kainuu ELY Centre”. If you realize that important public pension funds have substantial shares in the company, what is your opinion about their investment commitment?


More Assignments

Course participants should contact JCB in order to be given an individual assignment.