Major red mud pond burst reported in ChinaPublished by MAC on 2016-08-21
Source: Aluminium Insider, AZ China, Mining.Com (2016-08-21)
Alumina refinery failure causes mud slide, partially destroying village
Reports surfaced last week from China on a major red mud pond collapse at the Xiangjiang Wanji Aluminium plant in Luoyang, Henan Province.
According to local newspaper reports, the waste containment wall suddenly broke; silt mixed with stones from the mountainside rushed out, submerging the village and around 300 inhabitants. These were transferred in an emergency evacuation.
Fortunately, no human was reported killed or injured - but animals were not so fortunate.
Major tailings dam burst reported in China
August 16, 2016
According to the AZ China blog a major tailings dam failure at an aluminum refinery in Luoyang, Henan Province over the weekend caused a mud slide that partially destroyed a nearby town.
"According to local newspaper reports, the dam wall suddenly broke and silt mixed with stones from the mountainside rushed down, and the village was totally submerged. This village is home to around 300 villagers and they were transferred in an emergency evacuation. No one was killed or injured.
"The villagers are living in a primary school in Xinan County temporarily. Sadly, the red mud buried many farm and domestic animals because it was too late to save them. It has been reported that the dam held about 2 million cubic meters of red mud and was about 1.5 km in length."
Aluminum Insider reported that the Xiangjiang Wanji Aluminum refinery which has a 1.4 million tonne per year capacity was shut down and villagers evacuated ahead of the dam burst. Authorities have been cracking down on the industry recently, forcing refineries to tackle pollution and shutting down a number of bauxite mines in the province.
Red mud strikes again
August 11, 2016
Around 7pm on 8th of August, Xiangjiang Wanji Aluminium’s red mud storage had a landslide accident. Xiangjiang Wanji Aluminium is a private alumina refinery. It was established in 2005 by Xinjiang Group Co. Ltd and Luoyang Xinan Power Grid Group Co. Ltd. The established annual capacity is 1.2 million tonnes of alumina.
The red mud storage which had the accident is located in Dahegou Village, in Luoyang, Henan province.
According to local newspaper reports, the dam wall suddenly broke and silt mixed with stones from the mountainside rushed down, and the village was totally submerged.
This village is home to around 300 villagers and they were transferred in an emergency evacuation. No one was killed or injured. The villagers areliving in a primary school in Xinan County temporarily. Sadly, the red mud buried many farm and domestic animals because it was too late to save them.
It has been reported that the dam held about 2 million cubic meters of red mud and was about 1.5km in length.
Because of the combination of alkali and chemicals, the red mud is difficult to remove and contain. It also contains fluoride, aluminum and other impurities. This accident has caused huge harm on the village farmland.
Xiangjiang Wanji Aluminium was mentioned in the news in 2012, for illegally building the tailing pond. At that time, villages were worried that adequate controls were not in place.
The local government authorities and relevant environmental experts have arrived the accident site. Since the Central Environmental Protection Inspection team is still in Henan province, this accident surely will come to their attention.
Henan Xiangjiang Wanji Aluminium Refinery Shut Down Due to Danger of Red Mud Landslide
1 August 2016
The People’s Republic of China’s Henan Xiangjiang Wanji Aluminum Co., Ltd. has shut down its alumina refinery in Wanji on account of the potential of a dangerous red mud landslide. According to CRU, the timetable for reopening the facility is not known at this time.
A source from within the country indicates that the southwest corner of its red-mud dam body is unsound, threatening a red-mud slide. The Xinan town government, which oversees the town within which the refinery is located, received a report of same and dispatched a working group to the area shortly thereafter.
The government required the refinery to cease discharging red mud at once for safety reasons. At the time of the report, over three hundred residents had been evacuated to a safe location, and ten dozen police officers have been stationed nearby.
CRU consultant Jackie Wang opines that the 1.4 million-metric-ton-per-annum refinery will require between three and six months to resume operations. On a macro level, many aluminium refineries in the province have been affected recently by government environmental inspections.
For instance, the 2-million-metric-ton-per-annum Sanmenxia Kaiman alumina refinery is running at half capacity at present until it takes mandated action on converting its coal-fired power plant to natural gas.
Wang goes on to explain that other raw materials (like lime and caustic soda) may become scarce in the province for similar reasons. In addition, some of Henan’s bauxite mines have been administratively closed as well due to lack of permits or failure to complete proper paperwork with the government, which may cause other refineries in Henan to curtail production partially or even entirely.
CRU forecasts the price per metric ton of alumina to remain in a range between US$257 and US$261, but the 2.4 million-metric-ton-per-annum drop in supply described above may lead to a corresponding rise in local prices.