DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2011/s22.135

THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF GOLD EXTRACTION BY THE CYANIDE PROCESS

AUTHOR/S: L. CRISTEA, E. CRISTEA
Monday 1 August 2011 by Libadmin2011

11th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM2011, www.sgem.org, SGEM2011 Conference Proceedings/ ISSN 1314-2704, June 20-25, 2011, Vol. 3, 1191-1196 pp

ABSTRACT

Gold is a precious metal extracted and used since ancient times. The present paper
analyzes the properties and characteristics of gold in terms of physical-mechanical
properties and the process of its extraction from ore.

After extraction of tons of low grade gold ore using sodium cyanide (NaCN) are
obtained two grams of gold and there are left mining waste dumps containing 25-50%
gold.

The technological process of cyanide not only shows a low efficiency of extraction, but
it also brings great risks in terms of environmental impacts such as inadequate
transportation and storage of sodium cyanide, failure of dams and pipe leaks. Mud and
water from the process shows the risk of severe pollution by toxic heavy metal content
extracted from ore that can not be neutral.

There are also examined national and European legal norms to see if technology can
ensure reliability and eliminate waste from the industrial process in accordance with
European practices.

Keywords: Gold, technological process, extraction, environmental