Doñana disaster

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The Doñana Disaster, also known as the Aznalcollar Disaster or Guadiamar Disaster (Sp: Desastre de Aznalcóllar, Desastre del Guadiamar), was an industrial accident in Andalusia, southern Spain. On 25 April 1998, a holding dam burst at the Los Frailes mine, near Aznalcóllar, Seville Province, releasing 4–5 million cubic metres of mine tailings. The acidic tailings, which contained dangerous levels of several heavy metals, quickly reached the nearby River Agrio, and then its affluent the River Guadiamar, travelling about 40 kilometres along these waterways before they could be stopped.[1] The Guadiamar is the main water source for the Doñana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest national parks in Europe.[2][3] The cleanup operation took three years, at an estimated cost of €240 million.[4]

The Los Frailes mine is owned by Boliden-Apirsa (formerly Andaluza de Piritas, S.A.), the Spanish subsidiary of Boliden, and produces about 125,000 tonnes of zinc and 2.9 million ounces of silver per year.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aguilar, J.; Dorronsoro, C.; Fernández, E.; Fernández, J.; García, I.; Martín, F.; Ortiz, I.; Simón, M., El desastre ecológico de Aznalcóllar, University of Granada, retrieved 10 October 2010 .
  2. ^ Achterberg, E. (1999), "Impact of Los Frailes mine spill on riverine, estuarine and coastal waters in southern Spain", Water Res. 33: 3387, doi:10.1016/S0043-1354(99)00282-1 .
  3. ^ a b Boliden Says To Reopen Aznalcollar On Tuesday, Reuters, 7 April 1999 .
  4. ^ "El desastre que amenazó Doñana", El País, 6 October 2010 .

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°31′N 6°15′W / 37.517°N 6.250°W / 37.517; -6.250