Traditionally used in the mining of precious metals like gold, cyanide is a highly toxic chemical which has found itself under the spotlight in recent years. Governments, public bodies and private sector organisations have become increasingly aware of the extreme threat the reagent poses to the environment, human health and essential resources like drinking water, and many regions have introduced strict regulations for its use Some countries have banned it altogether.
The Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Costa Rica, Argentina, Ecuador and some states in the US banned cyanide leach technology in gold and silver mining in the late-1990s and early-2000s. A number of others have since followed.
Most recently, in October 2019, the Sudanese government banned the use of cyanide and mercury in mining operations. The ban followed a public outcry concerning the health and environmental impact of these chemicals in mining communities.
A clean alternative to the use of toxic chemicals like cyanide, the technology used by Clean Mining, a part of the Clean Earth Technologies Group, is a proprietary thiosulphate-based solution. This leaching reagent, which is non-toxic and sustainable, extracts gold from ore without the use of cyanide.
Not only does the Clean Mining solution offer a safer and more environmentally friendly process, it also unlocks opportunities for mining companies to propose safe, sustainable and economically viable mining projects in countries which have banned the use of cyanide.