Inrushes into mines or spillage of liquefied waste material have been recorded throughout mining history. Uncontrolled mass movement of water, mud, wet backfill and tailings flooded mines, often results in operations closure. An inrush of water, mud or tailings into a mine represent low-probability but high-impact risk. Most common causes of inrushes are surface water or liquefied material entering mines, breaking into old excavations, and movement of liquefied backfill from stopes or rush of liquified fine material from orepasses.

The following case studies were described:

Water inrush into a colliery

Tailings inrush into an underground mine

Backfill liquefaction and inrush into a mine

Mud inrush resulting from collapse of a crown pillar

Instability of waste rock tip

Instability of tailings dam

Progressive failure of coal refuse dam

Failure of tailings dams triggered by earthquakes

Geotechnical modes of failure and precursors to inundation and to instability of tailings dams and waste rock dumps were identified.