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Baogang Tailings Dam

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Location  Baotou
Type of dam  Embankment, tailings
Elevation at crest  1,045 m (3,428 ft)
Surface area  10 km²
Construction began  1955
Opening date  1965
Length  11.5 km (7.1 mi)
Height  6 m
Owner  Baotou Steel
Baogang Tailings Dam
Total capacity  85,000,000 m (69,000 acre·ft)

Baogang Tailings Dam, also known as the Baotou Talings Dam or Weikuang Dam, is a tailings dam in Inner Mongolia, China, on the outer ring of the city of Baotou. It is an artificial lake filled with tailings and waste slurry from a nearby rare earth mineral plant. Its shore is lined by pipes that bring into it a chemical waste from the surrounding refineries.

Construction on the dam began in 1955 and it was complete in 1963 but was not used until 1965. It is owned by Baotou Steel. The circular dam is 11.5 km (7.1 mi) long and has a 85,000,000 m3 (69,000 acre·ft) capacity. The dam will eventually increase 1,045 m (3,428 ft) in height and have a capacity of 233,800,000 m3 (189,500 acre·ft).

Baotou is the world's biggest supplier of rare earth minerals. They are used in the production of smartphones, tablets and other technology, like wind turbines. Production creates millions of tons of waste per year which has drawn much criticism of the dam. Chemicals in the lake have been linked to lower crop yields in surrounding farmlands and serious health problems among locals.

References

Baogang Tailings Dam Wikipedia


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