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ArticleName Basic problems of decontamination of cyanide-containing solutions and slurries of russian gold mining industry. Part 3. Nonoxidizing reagent and sorption detoxication methods
ArticleAuthor Vorobev-Desyatovskiy N. V., Ermakov D. V.

JSC “Polymetal Engineering”, Saint Petersburg, Russia:

N. V. Vorobev-Desyatovskiy, Head of Hydrometallurgy Department, e-mail:

SRK Consulting, Moscow, Russia:
D. V. Ermakov, Senior Concentration Engineer


The article describes non-oxidation methods of detoxication of cyanide solutions and slurries, based on binding of cyanide ions into insoluble or relatively low-toxic strong compounds. Such technologies include precipitation of СN anion in the form of low solubility compounds, such as ferric ferrocyanide/Turnbull’s blue, Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3, FeNa[Fe(CN)6], or binding of this anion with thyocyanate anion, interacting with polysulfide compounds (DTOX technology). Both considered methods do not provide the results, corresponding to existing Russian environmental regulations. Using ion-exchange resin (anion resin), cyanide solution detoxication method helps to reduce the environmental impact, but can not solve all issues. Its industrial application requires significant dilution of waste solutions with fresh water, following their treatment by ion-exchange resin, which is not always possible. The article also describes the latest developments in oxidation of cyanide ions by atmospheric oxygen on activated carbon as catalyst. Nowadays, this method is not commercially used, but it can become a prospective development in future.

keywords Gold-mining industry, decontamination, cyanide-containing wastes, free and complex cyanide ions, thiocyanates, ferric ferrocyanide, adsorption, ion-exchange resins, activated carbons

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