Tailings Dam Incident in China


February 15th, 2023


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The Challenge

In the spring of 2020, a significant tailings incident occurred in a China’s north-eastern province. Early reports suggested a large amount of seepage from the facility, which could have impacted the mining community and contaminated the local water supply. These claims, however, had not been backed-up by official responses from the state, and the mine operator had provided no additional information.

As a result of the suspected negative socio-environmental impact, the investment community were concerned about the status of the incident and required additional information to help their current and future investment strategy.

case study chinese mine 2

Our Solution

GlobalTrust carried out satellite-based analytics to validate the sparse reports from local news outlets and quantify the damage, if any, to the local communities and environment.

GlobalTrust was able to estimate the spread of pollution into the nearby mining community and river system and rapidly detect seepage from the facility using multi-spectral satellite data. Within the first ten days, we could find tailings traces more than 115 kilometres downstream of the tailings facility. The analyses also revealed that when the riverbanks had breached due to the tailings influx, substantial flora tracts had been devastated near the waste storage facilities.

GlobalTrust rapidly provided analytics, interpretations and recommendations into a briefing pack to the client to help inform their asset managers and facilitate their ongoing investment strategy into similar assets. To limit risk, maximise profits for the investing community, and ensure continuous good practices within mining companies, reliable environmental, social, and governance information must be delivered in near real-time.

spectral analysis case study chinese mine

©GlobalTrust Ltd 2021