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.
The photo in this page is the Luoyang Xin’an aerial tailings landslide site.