November 12, 2010

2 Min Read
Environmentally Sound Production of Sodium Cyanide in Russia: Evonik Grants Licenses to EPC Engineering Consulting

At the end of 2011, the Russian company Korund Cyan will commission, in the Nizhny Novgorod province of the Russian Federation, one of the most advanced facilities in the world for manufacturing sodium cyanide. The plant will rely on CyPlus GmbH’s innovative CyPlus Cyanide Advanced Technology to produce the sodium cyanide. It will also produce the precursor hydrogen cyanide by using a technology from Evonik's Performance Polymers Business Unit. CyPlus GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Evonik Industries.

Performance Polymers and CyPlus have now granted licenses to the engineering company, EPC Engineering Consulting GmbH, headquartered in the Thuringian city of Rudolstadt. EPC will provide turnkey production plant based on Evonik technologies. The foundation stone of the plant was laid in late September 2010 in the presence of Valery Shanzev, the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region. In the first phase of its expansion, the plant will be able to produce up to 40,000 metric tons of sodium cyanide annually. 

Sodium cyanide is required for extracting gold from gold ore. CyPlus developed its CyPlus Cyanide Advanced Technology (CyPlus CAT) for the production of sodium cyanide especially for this application in precious metal mining. CyPlus CAT meets the stringent criteria of Responsible Care and the International Cyanide Management Code, and is also considered to be an extremely safe and reliable process. Added benefits include low investment and operating costs.

In this process, the sodium cyanide is produced from hydrogen cyanide, which is manufactured by Evonik's own technology based on the Andrussow process. The company has more than 50 years experience in the production of hydrogen cyanide. Both production processes mesh with each other to work with high overall energy efficiency and enable a high yield from the raw material.

Evonik also supports EPC and Korund Cyan, a subsidiary of OOO Korund, with its vast expertise in the production and safe handling of cyanides. “This way, we enable our partner to produce to the highest technical and safety standards," emphasized Gregor Hetzke, head of the Performance Polymers Business Unit. “With the combination of technology, consulting, and training, we’re helping ensure that the plant operates both compatibly with the environment and profitably," added Frank Harenburg, managing director of CyPlus GmbH.

A specialist in the marketing of sodium and potassium cyanide, CyPlus was the first company worldwide to be audited and certified to the ISO 9001:2000 and 14001 management systems, as well as the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC). 

The new Korund Cyan plant in Nizhny Novgorod will also be certified to the International Cyanide Management Code. With this Code, the gold mining industry voluntarily commits to ensuring extremely high and uniform standards of safety and environmental protection and quality worldwide in the use of cyanides in gold mining.

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