THE PROBLEMS WITH RED MUD
Red Mud is highly alkaline (pH typically 12-13, equivalent to bleach)
Red Mud can contain various heavy metals
Red Mud storage areas are often porous and leach into groundwater
Red Mud is typically very fine grained (as fine as 2 μm) and can generate a harmful airborne dust when dry
Red Mud retains significant water and storage areas have the potential for catastrophic failure.
Red Mud storage areas generally cannot be built on or acceptably used for agriculture
ALUMINA PRODUCTION HAS CAUSED SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Red Mud dams represent a significant global issue, being a caustic mine process residue with adverse environmental impacts. Over 120Mt of Red Mud are generated globally each year, signifying an ongoing environmental legacy.
Environmental issues include contamination of ground water, dust generation and potential for catastrophic failure of dam containment walls, as was seen in the Akja disaster in Hungary, 2010.
There is potential value in Red Mud resources in the form of specialty metals, rare earths or pigments.