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ArticleName Main problems of neutralization of cyanide-containing solutions and pulps of russian gold-mining industry. Part 1. Common approaches to issues of neutralization of cyanide wastes in Russia and abroad
ArticleAuthor Ermakov D. V., Vorobev-Desyatovskiy N. V.

SRK Consulting, Moscow, Russia:

D. V. Ermakov, Senior Concentration Engineer


“Polymetal Engineering” JSC, Saint Petersburg, Russia:
N. V. Vorobev-Desyatovskiy, Head of Hydrometallurgy Office, e-mail:


There were considered the key approaches to resolving of problems, arising in the time of exploitation of Russian and CIS countries gold-mining enterprises, where alkaline cyanide solutions are used. There were compared the international and Russian requirements to neutralization of cyanide wastes of goldmining industry. International cyanide classification was carried out. Processes of natural detoxification of cyanide compounds in tailings impoundment were considered. There were described the current Russian regulations, relating to purification of waste waters from cyanide ions and thiocyanates which are free and bounded to complex compound with metal ions. Efficiency of purification of cyanide waste waters and possibility of their discharge into water flows have the following determining indices: values of maximum allowable concentrations, dissolved in water; standard of admissible exposure and standard of admissible discharge. This article shows the Russian approach to assessment of hazard of solid wastes, which appear as a result of semi-dry storage of cyanide leaching cakes in complete sludge process, and gold heap leaching. It was noted that it is rather easy to destroy the most toxic free cyanides by a variety of methods, harmless for humans and fauna. However, even after complete destruction of cyanide compounds, dissolved in water, obtained waste waters should be dissolved by pure water or with additional purification measures. The indicators, which most frequently exceed the standard concentrations in de-cyanided water, include рН value, total salt content, products of decomposition of cyanide ions and cyanide destroying reagents, and some by-products of ore and concentrate leaching process which do not contain CN anions.

keywords Gold-mining industry, cyanide wastes, free cyanide ions, complex cyanide ions, thiocyanates, maximum allowable concentrations, standard of admissible discharge

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