Jamaica is not the only place you find bauxite, and there is a rich seam of the stuff in the middle of Hungary near the village of Ajka. The Marxist regime of Hungary created a huge industrial complex to exploit this resource and after the fall of communism this state-owned utility was privatised as MAL (Magyar Alumínium Termelő és Kereskedelmi Zrt.). Presumably some officials and some would-be industrialists made a lot of money in the transition. MAL continued to process the bauxite and when one pond was full they built another.
Further downstream, despite a desperate scaling up of elementary chemistry (tonnes of vinegar and plaster were dumped into the Torna river to counteract the alkalinity), the toxic soup reached the Danube 3 days later. The subsequent investigation showed that the privatised company had acquired the assets cheap on the understanding that it would meet all the environmental protection requirements. Hollow laughter from off stage? Since the crash we've heard a lot about Moral Hazard: the economic doctrine that financiers are likely to engage in riskier behaviour if they know that the consequences will be borne by somebody else, usually me-the-taxpayer. It is no solace whatsoever to appreciate that reckless pursuit of money is not limited to bankers. The Hungarian government arrested the CEO of MAL and 9 days later, after emergency legislation had been pushed through parliament, re-nationalised the plant. They estimated that the clean-up [physical scraping above] and remediation would take at least a year and cost at least €110 millions. Check out the photo-essay in The Atlantic about the clean up one year later.