Canada invests in cyanide recycling tech
Program aims to make gold mining more sustainable, efficient Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – August 12, 2020
Last updated 8/26/2020 at 4:16am
In its ongoing support of a clean, sustainable, and competitive mining sector, the Canadian government is investing C$2.1 million into a project to recover and recycle cyanide after the chemical is used to recover gold from mined ore.
Cyanide is a chemical compound used to recover gold by dissolving the metal into a solution that is run through processes that extract the dissolved gold. The leftover cyanide is potentially hazardous and many mining operations incorporate a cyanide destruction process prior to discharge.
Corem, a Quebec-based firm that develops innovative and sustainable mineral processing solutions, is developing a process that recovers the cyanide for reuse instead of destroying and discharging the chemical.
The federal investment announced by Natural Resources Canada on Aug. 10 will fund a cyanide recycling pilot plant being developed by Corem.
"This financial support demonstrates the importance and interest in the development of clean technologies for the mining industry and the government of Canada," said Corem President and CEO Francis Fournier.
Recovering and recycling the cyanide is expected to reduce the volume of contaminated water stored in tailings ponds, thereby contributing to the sustainability and competitiveness of the mining industry.
"The government of Canada continues to invest in projects that position Canada's mining industry as a leader on the global stage. Through innovative ideas and dedicated partners such as Corem, which has been a presence in the Quebec region for more than 20 years, we are helping to reduce impacts on the environment, create jobs and ensure good mining practices in Quebec for years to come," said Jean-Yves Duclos, president of Treasury Board of Canada and member of the Quebec parliament.
The federal funds are being provided through Natural Resources Canada's Clean Growth Program, a C$155-million fund that invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada's energy, mining, and forest sectors.
The Clean Growth Program also provides federal laboratory support for innovators under the Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech initiative, which is intended to help bring Canadian clean technologies to market by providing federal research expertise, facilities and equipment.
Quebec is investing an addition C$100,000 in provincial funds toward this project.
"It is important for me that the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources supports Corem's research and technological innovation. More specifically, this project permits the use of clean technologies to improve the recycling of contaminated water, which is more and more important for the mining industry," said Quebec Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonatan Julien.
The federal and provincial governments said investing in sustainable and responsible natural resource technologies reduce environmental impacts and creates jobs, which is more important than ever as they work towards reopening the economy following the COVID-19 crisis.