Improvements in cyanide management - Swiss Better Gold Association
Environmental impact

Improvements in cyanide management

Clean water and sanitation
Responsible comsumption and production

This ambitious project aimed to improve all installations and infrastructures where cyanide is handled in order to: 

  1. Protect workers and the environment when handling and stocking cyanide
  2. Implement measures to protect wildlife and livestock against the adverse effects of cyanidation process solutions
  3. Implement measures designed to manage the filtration of cyanide facilities and thus protect the beneficial uses of groundwaters
  4. Provide preventive and containment measures for spills from tanks or pipes
  5. Protect the health and safety of workers from exposure to cyanide

The refurbishment plan included reinforcement of retention walls and fences as well as renovation of storage rooms and emergency showers.  

Work started in January 2019 and took approximately 3 months to complete. The project was co-financed by Sotrami S.A. and the Better Gold Fund. The SBGA contribution amounted to USD 333,000.  

Improvements in cyanide management - Swiss Better Gold Association

Environmental impact

As a result of these improvements, Minera Sotrami S.A. has obtained the International Cyanide Management Code certification.

Retention walls were expanded around cyanide pulp preparation and leaching tanks and now have a 20% greater capacity than the total volume of the tanks. As a result, workers are better protected against cyanide exposure in the event of a spill, and there will be no leakage into the ground and subsoil, thereby protecting the environment.

  • Following the construction and installation of HDPE pipes between the containment areas and the cyanide spill emergency pond, any spill will be directly transferred to the emergency pond then pumped back to the tanks. This protects the environment from any leakage of liquid cyanide.
  • The processing plant now has a modern interim storage area for the cans and bags that wrap the briquettes of solid cyanide. These are hazardous materials and must be correctly encapsulated and stored in a secure location prior to collection and disposal by an accredited external service provider.
  • The extension of the perimeter fence further restricts access to the tailings pool containing cyanide water.

Work also included the construction of two new emergency showers closer to the handling and storage areas of liquid and solid cyanide, providing additional health and safety protection for workers using cyanide.

Improvements in cyanide management - Swiss Better Gold Association