Tailings dam incidents pollute waterways

Tailings, the materials left over after the ore sorting process, are mostly discharged into dams and reservoirs. Disasters occur when the dams and reservoirs break down, leaking water into the environment and threatening people’s health.

Incidents

Mineral mining and processing is one of the most polluting industries. Most incidents in the past had connections to tailings dams and reservoirs created from different mineral processes.

Tailings dam incidents pollute waterways



Toxic substances including heavy metals, acids and sulfates from mining waste leak from the dams and reservoirs. They pollute surface and underground water, and have a serious impact on the environment and the community’s health even when the mining and processing activities stop.

A report found that there are 120 tailings reservoirs with 109 dams belonging to 59 ore sorting enterprises operating in 16 out of 63 provinces and cities.

Of the 59 iron ore sorting enterprises, there are 31 iron ore sorting, 15 lead-zinc, 6 tin, 4 copper, 1 apatite ores and 2 bauxite ore sorting enterprises.

Most tailings reservoirs and dams are situated in the northern mountainous provinces. The reservoirs in four provinces of Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Ha Giang and Lao Cai alone account for 50 percent of total tailings reservoirs throughout the country. Bac Kan, with 21 reservoirs, has the highest number of reservoirs.

Most tailings reservoirs and dams are situated in the northern mountainous provinces. The reservoirs in four provinces of Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Ha Giang and Lao Cai alone account for 50 percent of total tailings reservoirs throughout the country. Bac Kan, with 21 reservoirs, has the highest number of reservoirs.

 


The reservoirs have various capacity from tens of thousands to millions of cubic meters depending on the exploitation capacity. Most of them contain hundreds of cubic meters of tailings.

There are over 10 reservoirs with capacity of over 1 million cubic meters across the country. They belong to seven companies in five provinces – Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Thai Nguyen, Dak Nong and Lam Dong. Of these, eight reservoirs have become operational, containing sludge accounting for 30-100 percent of reservoirs’ capacity.

Four breakdown incidents have occurred since 2014, having serious impact on the environment.

Most recently, the breakdown of the waste water reservoir of the 6666 Industrial Minerals Group in Quang Nam province in 2018 caused pollution to gardens and fields of hundreds of households.

The incidents did not cause death toll, but seriously affected agricultural production and damaged houses.

The state issued legal documents to control and manage the risks from the tailings reservoirs. However, the regulations are not clear.

Most regulations are designed to manage industrial production activities in general, with little regard to specific mineral activities and their potentials' impact on the environment.

National standards are also applied to all industries, with no regard to special characteristics of mineral processing. 

Thien Nhien

Son La Province tries to curb illegal sand mining on Da River

Son La Province tries to curb illegal sand mining on Da River

Illegal sand mining on the Da River in the northern mountainous province of Son La has become more and more serious in recent years.

Company fined for illegal sand mining

Company fined for illegal sand mining

Central Highlands Dak Nong Province's People’s Committee has fined a company VND130 million (US$5,600) for illegal sand mining, vov.vn online newspaper reported.

 
 

Other News

.
65 pairs of swans released into Hai Phong river
65 pairs of swans released into Hai Phong river
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/05/2020 

Hai Phong City on May 18 released another 65 pairs of swans into the Tam Bac River to celebrate the city’s 65 Liberation Day, President Ho Chi Minh’s 130th birth anniversary and other big national anniversaries in May.

Three scientists honoured with Ta Quang Buu Awards
Three scientists honoured with Ta Quang Buu Awards
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/05/2020 

Vuong Thi Ngoc Lan from HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy was on Monday presented with a 2020 Ta Quang Buu Award thanks to her study about the efficiency between the transfer of fresh or frozen embryos in women

Son La releases wild loris back into nature
Son La releases wild loris back into nature
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/05/2020 

The Forest Protection Department of Phu Yen district, Son La province coordinated with the authorities of Gia Phu commune to release a loris to the nature on May 15.

Vietnamese businesses among top targets for phishing in Southeast Asia
Vietnamese businesses among top targets for phishing in Southeast Asia
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/05/2020 

Cybercriminals have actively attacked small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Southeast Asia this year, according to global cybersecurity company Kaspersky.

Security experts ask internet users to better protect themselves
Security experts ask internet users to better protect themselves
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/05/2020 

Truong Quynh Mai was terrified when she received a phone call saying she had been a victim of fraud in Ha Noi and needed to go to the local police station.

State-led approach to boost 5G deployment in Viet Nam: experts
State-led approach to boost 5G deployment in Viet Nam: experts
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/05/2020 

Vietnam’s 5G network is forecast to have a bright future with Government and regulator support while domestic manufacturing of 5G handsets could lower device costs and lend tailwinds to adoption.

Top leader calls for joint efforts in response to natural disasters
Top leader calls for joint efforts in response to natural disasters
POLITICSicon  19/05/2020 

Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong has called on citizens and soldiers nationwide to be united in natural disaster prevention, control and response tasks, 

PM urges plans to deal with natural disasters
PM urges plans to deal with natural disasters
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/05/2020 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged all sectors and localities to review and formulate response plans for natural disasters and incidents.

AI technology identifies people wearing masks
AI technology identifies people wearing masks
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/05/2020 

The system of facial recognition which identifies people with masks created by VinAI has sparked duscussion in the scientists’ community.

First local online meeting platform launched
First local online meeting platform launched
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  17/05/2020 

The Ministry of Information and Communications launched the online meeting platform Zavi at https://zavi.me on May 15, the first of its kind created in Vietnam.

Five sea creatures to be conserved in Ly Son island
Five sea creatures to be conserved in Ly Son island
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  17/05/2020 

The Management Board of Ly Son Marine Protected Area (MPA) has proposed a gene protection programme for five endangered sea creatures, 

Wildlife traffickers in Ca Mau sentenced to 2-13 years in jail
Wildlife traffickers in Ca Mau sentenced to 2-13 years in jail
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  17/05/2020 

The People’s Court of the southernmost province of Ca Mau has sentenced a company director to 13 years in prison and a fine of 100 million VND (4,280 USD) for organising trafficking of rare and endangered wildlife.

Preferential programme promotes solar power
Preferential programme promotes solar power
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  16/05/2020 

The HCM City Power Corporation Corporation under Vietnam Electricity (EVNHCMC) is co-operating with suppliers to carry out preferential programmes to encourage enterprises and individuals in the city to use solar power.

Technology tremendously boosts Covid-19 fight in Vietnam
Technology tremendously boosts Covid-19 fight in Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/05/2020 

Implementing Direction No.16/CT-TTg by the Prime Minister, several ministries and industries have been applying information technology in their daily operation and administrative procedure handling. 

Vietnam condemns cyberattacks in all forms: Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Vietnam condemns cyberattacks in all forms: Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
POLITICSicon  15/05/2020 

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang affirmed there is no basis to believe that a group of hackers related to Vietnam attacked some foreign websites to gain information.

Vietnam ready to join hands to use Mekong River’s water resources sustainably
Vietnam ready to join hands to use Mekong River’s water resources sustainably
POLITICSicon  15/05/2020 

Vietnam hopes and stands ready to join hands with countries along the Mekong River to manage and use its water resources effectively and sustainably, said Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang.

Tech does its part to tackle coronavirus
Tech does its part to tackle coronavirus
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  16/05/2020 

Nguyen Huy Dung, director-general of the General Department of Information, under the Ministry of Information and Communications, talks on IT application in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New study brings hope to infertile couples
New study brings hope to infertile couples
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  17/05/2020 

Vuong Thi Ngoc Lan, a specialist at the HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy, has brought hope to thousands of infertile couples in Vietnam through a study about the efficiency between the transfer of fresh or frozen embryos in women

With Vsmart phones, Vietnamese-made tech products become popular
With Vsmart phones, Vietnamese-made tech products become popular
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/05/2020 

Vietnamese consumers have bought made-in-Vietnam fashion products and other goods but few technology products have been popular until the appearance of V-smartphones.

Natural Reserve in Central Highlands ruined by loggers
Natural Reserve in Central Highlands ruined by loggers
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/05/2020 

A large area of forest at the Ea So Natural Reserve in Dak Lak and Gia Lai provinces have been destroyed by illegal logging activities.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN