Caixin OnlineEnvironment Trouble in the Treasure
12.19.2012 12:43

Trouble in the Treasure

There's a load of precious minerals lying in a gigantic tailings pond, but straining out the rare earths remains a difficult task
By intern reporter Liu Zhiyi

(Beijing) -- One crack in a wall is all it would take for a dark gray oval that sits across 11 square kilometers of land to create a massive disaster.

Situated just to the west of Baotou, a city in the resource-rich region of Inner Mongolia, the mine dump for Baotou Iron and Steel Group (Baosteel) is enclosed by a concrete wall that stands 20 meters high. It is one of China's largest tailings pools, and contains roughly 180 million tons of metal waste powder.

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