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To conserve water and minimize environmental impacts, Escondida created a tailings impoundment that has expanded along with its mining operations. The tailings material is left over after the majority of the valuable metals have been removed from the ore.

This copper-bearing waste is poured into the impoundment area as a liquid (dark region at the bottom of the 2011 and later images); it dries to the lighter-toned spoil seen in the images. The spoil is held behind a retaining dam, just more than 1 kilometer long, visible in the 2011 and later images as a straight line on the northwest corner of the pond.

Imagery

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Oct. 30, 1972, Landsat 1 (path/row 250/77) — Location of tailings pond, Escondida Mine, Chile
Oct. 27, 1989, Landsat 4 (path/row 233/77) — Location of tailings pond, Escondida Mine, Chile
Nov. 10, 2000, Landsat 7 (path/row 233/77) — Location of tailings pond, Escondida Mine, Chile
Nov. 17, 2011, Landsat 5 (path/row 233/77) — Location of tailings pond, Escondida Mine, Chile
Nov. 6, 2013, Landsat 8 (path/row 233/77) — Location of tailings pond, Escondida Mine, Chile
Nov. 12, 2015, Landsat 8 (path/row 233/77) — Tailings pond, Escondida Mine
Nov. 1, 2017, Landsat 8 (path/row 233/77) — Tailings pond, Escondida Mine
Nov. 20, 2018, Landsat 8 (path/row 233/77) — Tailings pond, Escondida Mine
Oct. 27, 2021, Landsat 8 (path/row 233/77) — Tailings pond, Escondida Mine

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