Tailings Related Accidents - Failures, Breaches and Mudflows

Dam Type Dam Fill Material Incident Type Incident Cause
US - upstream
DS - downstream
CL - centerline
WR - water retention
NR - not reported
T - tailings
CST - cycloned sand tailings
MW - mine waste
E - earthfill
R - rockfill
1A - failure, active impoundment
1B - failure, inactive impoundment
2A - accident, active impoundment
2B - accident,inactive impoundment
3 - groundwater
SI - slope instability
SE - seepage
FN - foundation
OT - overtopping
ST - structural
EQ - earthquake
MS - mine subsidence
ER - erosion
U - unknown, or
NR - not reported

The following table is based on the excellent information collected by the International Commission On Large Dams (ICOLD) and reproduced with permission. (ref: "ICOLD, Bulletin 121 - Tailings Dams, Risk of Dangerous Occurrences. Lessons learnt from practical experiences")

The following dates are in the format, month-day-year

Mine/Project & Location Dam Type Dam Fill Material Dam Height Storage Volume Incident Type Incident Date Tailings released (cubic meters Tailings Travel (meters)
Agrico Chemical, Florida, USA         1A-U 1968    
Aitik mine,
near Gällivare, Sweden
DS MW & E 15 15,000,000 1A-ER 08/09/2000 1,500,000  
Alcoa, Texas, USA     19 4,500,000 1A-U 10/01/1964    
Amatista, Nazca, Peru US       1A-EQ 12/09/1994 300,000 600
American Cyanamid, Florida         1A-U 1962    
American Cyanamid, Florida         1A-U 1965    
Arcturus, Zimbabwe US T 25 1.7-2.0 Mt 1A-OT 01/31/1978 39000 t 300
Atlas Consolidated, Phillippines         1A-MS      
Avoca Mines, Ireland WR T     1A-SI      
Bafokeng, South Africa US T 20 13,000,000 1A-SE 1974 3,000,000 45,000
Baia Mare, Romania DS then US T A few m 800000 (estimate) 1A-ST 01/30/2000 100,000  
Balka Chuficheva, Russia US CST 25 27,000,000 1A-SI 01/20/1981 3,500,000 1,300
Bancroft, Ontario, Canada         3-      
Barahona, Chile US CST 61 20,000,000 1A-EQ 10/01/1928 2,800,000  
Battle Mt. Gold, Nevada, DS E 8 1,540,000 2A-SI 1984    
Bekovsky, Western Siberia US Argillite, aleurolite 53 52,000,000 US 03/25/1987 None  
Bellavista. Chile US T 20 450,000 1A-EQ 03/28/1965 70,000 800
Berrien, France US R 9   1A-SE 1974    
Big Four, Florida, USA CL E 18   2A-ST 1986    
Big Four, Florida, USA CL E     2A-FN 08/01/1989    
Bilbao, Spain   R     1A-SI   115,000  
Blackbird, Idaho, USA CL MW 15 1,230,000 2B-ST      
Bonsal, North Carolina, USA WR E 6 38,000 1A-OT 08/17/1985 11,000 800
Cadet No. 2, Montana, CL E 21   2A-SI 09/01/1975    
Captains Flat Dam 2, Australia CL E 22   2A-SI      
Captains Flat Dump 3, Australia   T     1A-U 1942 40,000  
Captains Flat Dump 6A, Australia US T     1A-SI 1939    
Carr Fork, Utah, USA     10   1A-ST 02/01/1975    
Casapalca US T 107   1A-EQ      
Casapalca, Peru US T 107   1A-ST      
Castle Dome, Arizona, USA US T     1A-SE   150,000 100
Cerro Blanco de Polpaico, Chile WR R 9   2A-EQ 03/28/1965    
Cerro Negro No. 1, US T 46   2B-EQ 03/28/1965    
Cerro Negro No. 2, US T 46   2B-EQ 03/28/1965    
Cerro Negro No. 3, US T 20 500,000 1A-EQ 03/28/1965 85,000 5,000
Cerro Negro No. 4, US CST 40 2,000,000 1A-EQ 03/03/1985 500,000 8,000
Cerro Negro, near Santiago, Chile, 2 US T     1A-ER 03/10/2003 80,000  
Cities Service, Florida, USA WR E 15 12,340,000 1A-U 12/03/1971 9,000,000 120,000
Clayton Mine, Idaho, USA CL T 24 215,000 2A-ST 02/06/1983    
Climax, Colorado, USA         1A-U 07/02/1967 12,000  
Cobrex Mine, Chile, 2, 3, 4, 5 US T     1B-OT 22/09/2002 8,000  
Cobrex Mine, Chile US T     1B-OT 08/11/2002 4,500  
Cyprus Thompson Creek, Idaho, USA CL CST 146 27,000,000 2A-SE 1989    
Dashihe. China US   37   2A-EQ 1976    
Deneen Mica Yancey County, North Carolina, USA US CST 18 300,000 1A-SI 06/01/1974 38,000 30
Derbyshire, United Kingdom DS   8   1B-FN 1966 30,000 100
Dixie Mine, Colorado, USA         1B-U 04/01/1981    
Dresser No. 4, Montana, CL E 15   1A-FN 08/15/1975    
Earth Resources, N M, US T 21   1A-OT 1973    
El Cerrado, Chile US T 25   2B-EQ 03/28/1965    
El Cobre New Dam, DS CST 19 350,000 1A-EQ 03/28/1965 350,000 12,000
El Cobre No. 4, DS CST 50   2A-EQ 03/03/1985    
El Cobre Old Dam, US T 35 4,250,000 1A-EQ 1965 1,900,000 12,000
El Cobre Small Dam, US T 26 985,000 2B-EQ 03/28/1965    
Fernandinho, nr Belo, Horizonte, Brazil US T 40   1A-SI      
Forquilha, Brazil         1A-OT      
Galena Mine, Idaho, USA US E 14   2A-ER 1972    
Galena Mine, Idaho, USA US MW 9   1A-OT 01/15/1974 3,800 610
GCOS, Alberta, Canada US T 61   2A-SI 1974    
Glebe Mines, UK   E     1B-OT 01/22/2007    
Golden Cross, Waitekauri Valley, New Zealand   R 25-30 3Mt 1A-FN Dec-95 None  
Golden Gilpin Mine, Colorado, USA     12   1B-U 11/01/1974    
Golden Sunlight, MT, USA CL CST     3- 05/01/1983    
Granisle, BC, Canada DS MW 24   2A-SE      
Grey Eagle, California, USA DS E     3- 1983    
Grootvlei, South Africa US T     1A-SI 1956    
Heath Steele main dam, Brunswick, Canada WR R,E 30   2A-FN Since 1970's    
Hierro Viejo, Chile US T 5   1A-EQ 03/28/1965 800 1,000
Hirayama, Japan DS   9 87,000 2B-EQ 1978    
Hokkaido, Japan US T 12 300,000 1A-EQ 1968 90,000 150
Hollinger, Canada US T 15   1A-FN 1944    
Homestake, N. Mexico, USA US T 21   1A-ST 02/01/1977 30,000  
IMC K-2, Saskatchewan, Canada US T 30   3- 1968    
Incident No. 1, Elliot, Ontario, Canada WR E 9   3- 1979    
Irelyakh, USSR WR E 10   2A-ST      
Iron Dyke, Sullivan Mine, Kimberley, BC, Canada US   21   1A-SI 08/23/1991    
Itabirito, Minas Gerais,Brazil Gravity Masonry 30   1A-ST May-86 100,000 12,000
Itogon-Suyoc, Baguio gold district,Luzon, Phllippines         1A-OT 06/26/1993    
Iwiny, Lower Silesia, Poland WR E 25   1A-MS      
Jinduicheng, Shaanxi Province., China US   40   1A-OT 04/30/1988 700,000  
Kennecott, Garfield, Utah, USA US T     1A-SI 1941    
Kennecott, Utah, USA US T     1A-FN 1942    
Kerr-McGee, Churchrock, New Mexico, USA WR E 9   1A-FN 04/01/1976    
Keystone Mine, Crested Butte, Colorado, USA         1B-U 05/01/1975    
Kimberley, BC, Canada US T     1A-SI 1948 1,100,000  
Kolontár, Hungary 2   E     1A-SI 10/04/2010 700,000  
Kojkovac, Montenegro WR E   3,500,000 2B-ER 11/92 none  
Kyanite Mining, Virginia, USA     11 430,000 2A-OT 1980    
La Belle, Pennsylvania, USA DS MW 79 1,230,000 2A-FN 07/17/1985    
La Patagua New Dam, US T 15   1A-EQ 03/28/1965 35,000 5,000
Los Frailes, nr Seville, Spain WR R 27 15,000,000 1A-FN 04/24/1998 6,800,000 40,000
Los Maquis No. 1, US T 15   2B-EQ 03/28/1965    
Los Maquis No. 3, US   15 43,000 1A-EQ 03/28/1965 21,000 5,000
Lower Indian Creek, MO, US E     2A-SI 1960    
Madison, Missouri, USA WR E 11   1A-OT 02/28/1977    
Madjarevo, Bulgaria US T 40 3,000,000 1A-ST 04/75 250,000  
Maggie Pye, United Kingdom US T 18   1A-SI 1970 15,000 35
Marcopper, Marinduque Island, Philippines         1A-ST 03/24/1996 2.4Mt 25,000
Marga, Chile         1B-OT 1985    
Marianna Mine #58, PA, US E 37 300,000 2A-SI 11/19/1986    
Maritsa Istok 1, Bulgaria   Ash 15 52,000,000 1A-ER 03/01/1992 500,000  
Merriespruit, nr Virginia, South Africa, 2, 3 US paddock T 31 10Mt 1B-OT 02/22/1994 2.5Mt 2,000
Miami Copper, Arizona, USA US T     2A-SE      
Middle Arm, Launceston, Tasmania CL E 4 25,000 1A-OT 06/25/1995 5000  
Mike Horse, Montana, USA US T 18 750,000 1B-OT 1975 150,000  
Minera Sera Grande: Crixas, Goias, Brazil DS then US CST 41 2.25Mt 2A-SI 02/94 None  
Mineral King, BC, Canada CL CST 6 Small 1B-OT 03/20/1986    
Mines Development, Edgemont, South Dakota, USA         1A-U 06/11/1962 100  
Mir, Bulgaria US T     1A-U 1966    
Mirolubovka, Southern Ukraine US E&T 32 80,000,000 2A-SI 01/15/1984 none  
Missouri Lead, Missouri, USA DS CST 17   2A-ST      
Mobil Chemical, Florida, USA         1A-U 1967 250,000  
Mochikoshi No. 1, Japan US T 28 480,000 1A-EQ 01/14/1978 80,000 7,000
Mochikoshi No. 2, Japan US T 19 480,000 1A-EQ 01/15/1978 3,000 150
Monsanto Dike 15, TN, DS E 43 1,230,000 2A-SE 1969    
Montana Tunnels, MT, USA DS MW 33 250,000 3- 1987    
Mulfilira, Zambia 2, 3, 4     50 1Mt 1A-MS 09/25/1970    
No.2 Tailings Pond, Padcal, Luzon, Philippines       80Mt A1-FN 01/92 80Mt  
No.3 Tailings Pond, Mankayan, Luzon, Phillippines   E     1A-ST 10/17/1986    
No.3 Tailings Pond, Sipalay, Phillippines WR MW   37Mt 1A-FN 11/08/1982 27Mt  
Norosawa, Japan DS   24 225,000 2B-EQ 01/14/1978    
N'yukka Creek, USSR WR E 12   2A-FN 1965    
Ollinghouse, Nevada, USA WR E 5 120,000 1A-SE 1985 25,000 1,500
Park, United Kingdom WR T 3   1A-OT 1970    
PCS Rocanville, Saskatchewan, Canada US T 12   3- 1975    
Phelps-Dodge, Tyrone, New Mexico, USA US CST 66   1A-SI 10/13/1980 2,000,000 8,000
Pico de Sao Luis, Gerais, Brazil   T 20   1A-ER 10/02/1986    
Pinchi Lake, BC, Canada WR E 12   2A-ER 11/30/2004 6000-8000
Pinchi Lake, BC, Canada WR E 13   2A-ER 1971    
Pit No. 2, Western US T 9   1A-SI 1977    
Placer Bay, Surigao del, Philippines WR E 17   1B-SI 09/02/1995 50,000 Out to sea
Portworthy, United Kingdom DS R 15   1A-ST 1970    
Rain Starter Dam, Elko, Nevada, USA WR ER 27 1,500,000 3- 1988    
Ramayana No. 1, Chile US T 5   1A-EQ 03/28/1965 150  
Ray Mine, Arizona, USA US T 52   1A-SI 12/02/1972    
Ray Mine, Arizona, USA US T 52   2A-SI 02/05/1973    
Riltec, Mathinna, Tasmania CL E 7 120,000 2A-SE 01/06/1995 40,000  
Rossarden, Tasmania WR E 7.5 200,000 1B-OT 05/16/1986    
Royster, Florida, USA US T 21   1A-FN 1982    
Saaiplaas, South Africa, 2   CST     1A-IS

18/3/92
19/3/92
22/3/92

   
Santander, Spain         1A-FN      
Sauce No. 1, Chile US T 6   2A-EQ 03/28/1965    
Sauce No. 2, Chile US T 5   2B-EQ 03/28/1965    
Sauce No. 3, Chile US   5   2B-EQ 03/28/1965    
Sauce No. 4, Chile US T 5   2B-EQ 03/28/1965    
Sgurigrad, Bulgaria US T 45 1,520,000 1A-SI 05/01/1996 220,000 6,000
Silver King, Idaho, USA DS E 9 37,000 2A-OT 08/05/1989 Small  
Silver King, Idaho, USA DS E 9 37,000 1A-OT 01/16/1974 6,000  
Simmer and Jack, South Africa US T     1A-SI 1937    
Soda Lake, California, USA US E 3   2A-EQ 10/17/1989    
Southern Clay, Tennessee, USA WR E 5   1A-SE 09/07/1989 300  
Southwest US, USA US T     2A-SI      
Spring Creek Plant, Borger, Texas, USA     5 30,000 1A-OT 08/01/1986    
St. Joe Lead, Flat Missouri, USA US T 15   1A-OT 1940    
Stancil , Maryland, USA US E 9 74,000 1A-SI 08/25/1989 38,000 100
Stava, North Italy, 2, 3 US CST 29 300,000 1A-SI 07/19/1985 190,000 4000
Stoney Middleton, UK         1A-SI 02/08/1968    
Story’s Creek, Tasmania Valley side   17 30,000 1B-OT 05/16/1986 Minimal  
Suncor E-W Dike, Alberta, Canada WR MW 30   2A-SI 1979    
Sweeney Tailings Dam, Longmont, Colorado, USA     7   1A-SE 05/01/1980    
Syncrude, Alberta, Canada CL T     2A-FN 1978    
Tailings dam No 1, Guyana (Omai Mine), 2 WR R 44 5,250,000 1A-ER 08/19/1995 4,200,000  
TD 7, Chingola, Zambia US T&E 5   1A-OT Aug-93 100t  
Texasgulf 4B Pond, Beaufort, Co., North Carolina, USA WR T 8 12,300,000 2A-SI 04/01/1984    
Texasgulf No. 1 Pond, Beaufort Co., North Carolina, USA WR E   24,700,000 2A-SI 1981    
TN Consolidated Coal No.1, Tennessee, USA, DS MW 85 1,000,000 2A-ST 01/19/1988    
Tymawr, United Kindom     12   1A-OT 03/29/1965   700
Tymawr, United Kingdon         1A-U Dec-61   800
Unidentified US       1A-SI      
Unidentified WR E     1A-ST      
Unidentified US T     2A-ST      
Unidentified US MW     1A-SI      
Unidentified US T     2A-SE      
Unidentified US       2A-SI      
Unidentified WR E 8   3-      
Unidentified DS E     3-      
Unidentified, Alfaria River, Florida, USA WR E 8   1A-SI 02/01/1952    
Unidentified, Arizona, USA US CST 18   2A-SE      
Unidentified, BC, Canada DS CST     2A-SE      
Unidentified, BC, Canada DS MW 30   2A-SE      
Unidentified, Canaca, Mexico US T 46   1A-OT 1974    
Unidentified, Colorado, USA E       3-      
Unidentified, Eastern USA   MW 150   2A-SI      
Unidentified, Europe WR R 24   2A-FN      
Unidentified, Green River, Wyoming, USA WR E 18   3- 1975    
Unidentified, Hernando, County, Florida, USA CL E 6   2A-FN 1977    
Unidentified, Hernando, County, Florida, USA US E 12 3,300,000 1A-OT 09/01/1988 4,600  
Unidentified, Hernando, County, Florida, USA DS E 12   2A-FN 1988    
Unidentified, Idaho, USA DS E 34   2A-SI 1976    
Unidentified, Idaho, USA DS E 18   2A-SI 1965    
Unidentified, Indiana, USA         1B-OT      
Unidentified, Mississippi, USA US T 15   1A-OT 1970    
Unidentified, Mississippi, USA US T 20   2A-FN 1974    
Unidentified, Peace River, Florida, USA WR E 8   1A-SI 03/01/1952    
Unidentified, Peace River, Florida, USA WR MW 30   1A-SE 07/01/1951    
Unidentified, Peace River, Florida, USA WR MW 6   1A-SE 09/01/1951    
Unidentified, Peace River, Florida, USA DS E     1A-SE 02/01/1951    
Unidentified, Peru         1A-EQ 1962    
Unidentified, South Africa         1A-U 1917    
Unidentified, South Africa US T     2A-FN      
Unidentified, South Africa US T     2A-SE      
Unidentified, South Africa US T     1A-SI      
Unidentified, Southern USA US E 43 500,000 1A-SI 1973 170,000 25,000
Unidentified, Texas, USA US T 16   1A-SE 1966 130,000 300
Unidentified, United Kingdom   R 12   1A-U      
Unidentified, United Kingdom DS       2B-SI      
Unidentified, United Kingdom DS   20   1A-SI 1967    
Unidentified, United Kingdom DS MW 14   2A-SI 1967    
Unidentified, United Kingdom DS E 30   2A-SE 1967    
Unidentified, USA US CST 60   2A-SI      
Unidentified, USA WR E 6   2A-FN      
Unidentified, Wyoming, USA WR E 24   3-      
Union Carbide, Green River, Utah, USA         1A-OT 08/19/1959 8,400  
Union Carbide, Maybell, Colorado, USA         1A-U 12/06/1961 280  
Union Carbide, Uravan, Colorado, USA US T 43   2A-SI 03/01/1979    
United Nuclear, Churchrock, New Mexico, USA WR E 11 370,000 1A-FN 07/01/1979 370 110,000
Utah construction, Riverton, Wyoming, USA         2A-OT 06-16-1963    
Vallenar 1 and 2,         1B-OT 1983    
Veta de Agua B,         1A-EQ 1981    
Veta de Agua No. US T 24 700,000 1A-EQ 03/03/1985 280,000 5,000
Veta de Aqua A,         1A-EQ 1981    
Virginia Vermiculite, Louisa County, Virginia, USA WR E 9   1A-ST 1984    
Western Nuclear, Jeffrey City, Wyoming, USA         1A-SI 1977 40  
Western Nuclear, Jeffrey City, Wyoming, USA         1A-ST 03/23/1971    
Williamsport Washer, Maury County, Tennessee, USA     21   1A-U 1970    
Williamthorpe, UK   MW     1A-OT 03/24/1966    
Williamthorpe, United Kingdom         1A-FN 1966    
Xishimen, China US T 31   1A-SI 03-21-1987 2,230  
Zlevoto No. 4, Yugoslavia US T 25 1,000,000 1A-SI 03/01/1976 300,000