A tailings dam failure in Wenquan Township Jiaokou County, Shanxi Province, China


A tailings dam failure in Wenquan Township, Shanxi Province, China

Yesterday my pals at World Mine Tailings Failures alerted me to a report from China of a tailings facility failure in Wenquan Township, Jiaokou County, Shanxi Province, China.  The report gives restricted element, the salient factors of that are as follows:-

in article 1

On the afternoon of March 27, a landslide occurred in a fabric yard of Shanxi Daoer Aluminum Co., Ltd.

In line with studies, at round 17:00 on March 27, a tailings pond of Daoer Firm, positioned in Wenquan Township, Jiaokou County, broke a dam. A part of the manufacturing unit space was buried; a big pit was shaped within the tailings pond, the dam physique was flushed with a spot of about 70 to 80 meters, and the mud accumulation blocked the native street...In line with the report of the Individuals’s Authorities of Jiaokou County, after preliminary inspection, a landslide occurred in a fabric storage yard of Daoer Firm within the county, inflicting 7.5 mu of arbor forest land to be buried, greater than 200 meters of seasonal ditches and rural roads had been blocked, and a part of the encircling partitions of adjoining enterprises had been washed away. No casualties had been discovered.

I’ve been in a position to observe this occasion down on Planet imagery.  The realm round Wenquan Township is decimated by mining, however the tailings failure stands out fairly clearly:-

Satellite tv for pc picture of the 27 March 2022 tailings dam failure at Wenquan Township in Shanxi Province China. Picture courtesy of Planet, used with permission.


The placement of the tailings dam failure is  37.1059, 111.4301.  The mobilised tailings seem to have moved about 700 m from the crest of the scar to the toe of the waste, or about 500 m from the sting of the failed retaining construction to the toe of the dam.


I’ve created a Juxtapose slider to check a Planet picture from earlier than the failure (collected on 7 March 2022) with the one after (collected on 28 March 20222 – the day after the collapse):-


There are inevitable decision limitations on this genuinely wonderful day by day Planet imagery, nevertheless it confirms features of the report within the information report.  Within the runout zone the tailings have clearly partially inundated an industrial facility – presumably the concentrator – and a street is blocked.  The rest of the tailings are largely overlaying vegetated slopes.

The latest (5 April 2022) imagery means that the street has been cleared and the tailings have been lined in a gray materials.  I’m uncertain as to what this may be.

The Wenquan Township occasion just isn’t a big tailings failure, and the runout is relatively modest.  Nonetheless, it’s of concern given the variety of such amenities in China.



Planet Staff (2022). Planet Utility Program Interface: In Area for Life on Earth. San Francisco, CA. https://www.planet.com/


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