Technical Note

Cyanide destruction at Ovacik gold mine

E. Koksal1, G. Ormanoglu1*, E.A. Devuyst2

1 Normandy Madencilik A.S., Ovacik Gold Mine, P.K:14-15 Bergama, Izmir, Turkey
2 Inco Technical Services Ltd, 2060 Flavelle Boulevard, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5K 1Z9

Received 30 November 2001; accepted 15 December 2002


The Ovacik Gold Mine is the first gold mine using the cyanide leaching method in Turkey and has been operating since early June, 2001. The process plant comprises a conventional carbon-in-pulp (CIP) process with a treatment capacity of 300,000 tpy ore. Sodium cyanide consumption is approximately 0.5 kg/t ore treated. Process tailings are treated in a three-stage chemical destruction circuit using the Inco SO2/AIR process before being discharged to a lined tailings pond in order to achieve the limits for cyanide and heavy metals set by the Turkish Ministry of Environment. The limit for cyanide in the chemical destruction effluent is 1 mg/L, as weak acid dissociable (WAD) cyanide. The circuit was commissioned successfully, under the control of Inco experts, and has since been operating in compliance with all the regulatory environmental requirements.

Keywords: Tailings; Cyanide; Chemical destruction; Tailings pond; Environment

* Corresponding author
   E-mail : Gulden.Ormanoglu@ovacik-altin.com