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Four cases where our technology improves cyanide control

November 19, 2020

Photo by Plato Terentev from Pexels

Case #1:  

Using proprietary chemosensors to achieve reliable and accurate measurements for complex ore that is rich in other metals

An Australian mining company has recently commissioned a mine and was about to start mining operations. Initial ore analysis report revealed that the ore composition is rich in other metals, such as copper and iron, which are likely to interfere with the leaching kinetics. Copper interference also leads to an overestimation of free cyanide, particularly when silver nitrate titration (SNT) using rhodanine as an indicator, is applied. The mining company is looking for a more reliable method that can accurately measure free cyanide level in such complex slurry.

CyanoGuard’s cyanide testing technology uses a novel, proprietary chemosensor that can accurately measure the level of free cyanide in the leaching solution. The chemosensor is not affected by the interferences that traditional methods have, such as copper, zinc, iron, nickel, silver, thiocyanate, and carbonates. It, therefore, can achieve more accurate and reliable results than manual titration. Additionally, in cases with high salinity in the leaching process, the salinity has no impact on measurements. Test cartridges can be customised according to the concentration range and measurement resolution required by the mining company. Given the high sensitivity of the proprietary chemosensor in the cartridges, only a small amount of sample (max. 1.0 mL) is needed to make the measurement and therefore, making it easy and safe for operators handling the cyanide measurements.

Case #2:

Using IoT technology to reduce discrepancies, improve time to result and cut down on response to incidents

A gold mining company in South Africa was facing difficulty achieving consistent results in its cyanide measurement process. Cyanide samples were collected at four points along the leaching process every three hours and tested using manual titration in the onsite laboratory. The root cause of fluctuations in measurements was in the lack of standardisation and human error in sample collection, labelling and the manual titration procedure. As a result, failed measurements had to be repeated, causing delays and inefficiencies in the leaching process. The company was looking to implement an IoT solution which allows operators to make reliable measurements on the spot and, should the need arise, be able to troubleshoot immediately.

CyanoGuard’s solution provides the mobility that allows operators to get results on site instantly. The data is immediately transmitted to the cloud-based platform, where site managers and metallurgist consultants can simultaneously review data and advise on necessary actions or intervention. Additionally, site managers can define upper and lower limits for cyanide levels and implement automatic alerts (through emails, SMS or Whatsapp) should the measurements fall outside the desired range. As all operators are trained on what to do when an anomaly in cyanide measurements arise, this automatic alert feature ensures immediate response should any issue occur during the leaching process.

Case #3:

Using mobile cyanide device to complement existing online automated analysers due for service and establish continuous monitoring of cyanide levels

A Mexican mine has two online automated analysers installed at the first and last leaching tanks. Two years after the installation, discrepancies started to occur more frequently. After some discussions with consultants and the supplier, it was agreed that the equipment might need some servicing, maintenance and calibration. The earliest possible appointment will be in a month and an estimated downtime of at least two weeks is required. The mine is looking for an interim solution that can allow operations to resume as usual while the online analysers are down for maintenance.

CyanoGuard’s plug-and-play solution can be arranged and shipped worldwide within a week, without any shipping or import restrictions. The devices are pre-calibrated and ready-to-use upon delivery. Once the materials arrived on site, it takes on average 15 minutes per operator to complete training and onboarding. In a standard setup, the entire solution can be used within 24 hours upon the arrival of the equipment, and multiple users can access the online platform including off-site metallurgists and engineers who are consulting the mines remotely. With CyanoGuard’s technology, mines can achieve real-time, continuous cyanide control without any downtime. Operators can also use the solution to verify any discrepancies that may arise in automated analysers and avoid the risk of systematic errors.

Case #4:

Using data analytics and traceability fulfil growing reporting and ESG demands

A listed gold mining group, based in Toronto, Canada, is looking to implement group-wide analytics solutions that bring efficiency in growing reporting and ESG demands from international investors. The group publishes an annual sustainability report, but is facing data discrepancies in some operations where data is still gathered manually through an operator. Additionally, the group has also set a target to reduce carbon emissions and is looking at ways it can be more efficient in cyanide usage, a significant contributor to carbon emissions along the production process.

CyanoGuard’s solution overcomes inefficiencies in cyanide monitoring and reporting. By offering more reliable and consistent cyanide measurements, mines can improve cyanide control and efficiency over time. Such improvements have longer-term benefits of reducing operating costs, in terms of lower consumption in sodium cyanide, detox reagent, water and energy. CyanoGuard’s solution enables mining companies to reduce cyanide consumption by 15%, reduce detox reagent cost by 20%, while improving gold production by 2%. Not only can mining companies achieve a stronger financial position with advanced analytics technology, but it can also work towards compliance with ESG goals and substantially reduce their environmental footprint.

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