Zijin Mining: Collapse of tailing dam kills 22, destroys houses

On September 21, 2010, the tailings dam at Zijin Mining’s Xinyi Yinyan tin mine in Guangdong province collapsed. Aggravated by heavy rainfall, the collapse was a result of “illegal and non-compliant works” carried out by Zijin Mining Group’s subsidiary Xinyi Zijin Mining Co. Ltd. The findings of the investigative process showed the subsidiary “did not implement the responsibility system in relation to safe production” and did not comply with the necessary regulations and laws ensuring a safe workplace. In December 2010 Zijin Mining stated that “Xinyi Zijin shall be mainly responsible for the occurrence of the incident”1.

The collapse of the tailing dam led to the death of 22 people, the complete destruction of 523 houses and damage to a further 815 as well as the destruction of farmland. A total of 2,499 lawsuits have been filed and the company’s subsidiary was sued for the equivalent of $55 million. In 2011 Zijin Mining settled with 21 plaintiffs from five lawsuits paying them a compensation of $515,358 for the loss of their relatives2. Zijin Mining donated $7.5 Million to the reconstruction of homes in the Xinyl neighbourhood3.

  1.  Zijing Mining Group Co. Ltd. Announcement. (2010) Zijing Mining Group, 27.12. (accessed 26.08.2014) []
  2. China Daily (2011): Xinyi Zijin Mining settles with dam collapse victims. 28 December (accessed 26.08.2014) []
  3. AsiaOnenews (2010): China’s Zijin Mining makes donation over deadly dam collapse; 28 December (accessed 13.10.2014) []

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