Technology at Roșia Montană
As gold is currently found in very small particles in the rock composition, mining companies need to use chemical substances to extract it from the ore. Cyanide is one of the few substances having the required chemical properties for gold extraction in conditions of safety and efficiency. After more than 100 years of cyanide use in the mining industry, the methods to use and neutralize cyanide are very well known, so that the risks for people and environment are minimized.
Cyanide is not a dangerous substance if used according to strict protection requirements. In the case of the mining project from Roşia Montană, RMGC ensures full safety of use of this substance due to the technological process and cyanide management plan.
The cyanide management plan for Roşia Montană project was produced in compliance with the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC), (www.cyanidecode.org) and reviewed and revised by internationally reputed specialists.
Roşia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC), through Gabriel Resources, is a signatory to the ICMC, which regulates all phases of technological process.
- RMGC will purchase the sodium cyanide only in solid form, manufactured exclusively by producers who are signatories to the International Cyanide Management Code.
- The sodium cyanide will be delivered in special double-walled, extremely resistant containers.
- Railroad transportation will be maximized, while road transportation will be escorted by an intervention vehicle.
Handling and storage
- In order to prevent leakages upon delivery, the solid cyanide will be dissolved directly inside the container it is transported with.
- After dissolution, the liquid sodium cyanide will be pumped directly in the pumping and distribution system, without being handled in the open.
- Cyanide will be dosed using automated systems, avoiding handling by the staff.
- The plant site is provided with a concrete tank with the capacity to capture any accidental leakages (110% capacity).
- As a means of secondary containment, in the cyanide handling areas, canals will be built to collect any accidental leakage from the pipes.
- After the gold and silver are extracted from the ore, a large part of the cyanide will be recovered and reused in the technological process.
- Before leaving the process plant, the tailings go through a neutralization installation to reduce the cyanide content, well below the limits imposed by the new European Union mining waste directive.
- Under the action of UV rays, cyanide will continue to decompose naturally, in the tailings management facility.
Employees’ safety and training
- Monitoring systems will detect any accidental leakages or emissions of cyanide or related compounds.
- RMGC will conduct regular formal meetings to draw employees’ attention to security and protection measures, and ensure that employees fulfill their obligations in a manner sufficient to safeguard labor protection and security.