According to the World Gold Council, gold mining is conducted with respect to the environment and the human rights and well being of our employees, contractors and members of the communities associated with our activities. Its Responsible Gold Mining Principles set out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining.
One of its principles focuses on Environmental Stewardship. With regard to handling cyanide and hazardous materials, it states that “we will identify and manage potential risks relating to the transportation, handling, storage and disposal of all hazardous materials where operators use cyanide, we will ensure that our arrangements for the transport, storage, use and disposal of cyanide are in line with the standards of practice set out in the International Cyanide Management Code.
The Cyanide Code is a voluntary industry programme for gold and silver mining companies. It focuses exclusively on the safe management of cyanide and cyanidation mill tailings and leach solutions. Companies that adopt the Cyanide Code must have their mining operations that use cyanide to recover gold and/or silver audited by an independent third party to determine the status of Cyanide Code implementation. Those operations that meet the Cyanide Code requirements can be certified. The objective of the Cyanide Code is to improve the management of cyanide used in gold and silver mining and assist in the promotion of human health and the reduction of environmental impacts.
Gold mining companies can go one step further by eliminating the use of cyanide altogether. Mining companies can also do away with tailings by using a de-watering process in conjunction with Clean Earth Technologies solutions to generate dry tailings. This will also eliminate the need for tailing dams altogether.