The mining and processing of Earth Elements in northern China has caused years of toxic leaking into surrounding water sources.

A tailings pond lies on the west of the Chinese city Baotou, one filled with a black grey sludge of toxic and radioactive material.

It is the by-product of rare earth processing – elements vital to solar energy, wind farms and other alternative energy sources. It is open to the air but worse it is seeping into the ground below, poisoning the water.

Sky’s China Correspondent Tom Cheshire was followed when he tried to gather more information.

SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos:

Follow us on Twitter:
Like us on Facebook:
Follow us on Instagram:
Follow us on TikTok:

For more content go to and download our apps:

Sky News videos are now available in Spanish here/Los video de Sky News están disponibles en español aquí
Sky News videos are also available in German here/Hier können Sie außerdem Sky News-Videos auf Deutsch finden:

To enquire about licensing Sky News content, you can find more information here: