Volume 95 Issue 39 | pp. 18-19
Issue Date: October 2, 2017 | Web Date: September 27, 2017

Cyanide glitters for some

Use of the deadly chemical is on the rise in the gold mining industry
Department: Business
Keywords: Process chemistry, safety, sodium cyanide, gold, mining, environmental hazards, poison

Talk about cyanide, and images of a lethal pill used by spies to avoid capture come to mind. Few people outside the gold mining industry know that sodium cyanide is used in most of the world’s production of the precious metal.

The days of panning for gold nuggets in California and Alaska are long gone. The public’s enduring love affair with gold can be satisfied only by extracting tiny amounts from ores with a chemical . . .

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