The Toxicity and Degradation of Cyanide in Mine Tailings

Linkson PB,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The presence of residual cyanide in mine tailings and fill sands may, under specific circumstances, lead to acute and/or chronic cyanide poisoning of the environment and individuals. In this paper, the nature of cyanide contained in mine tailings is discussed, along with the circumstances under which such cyanide would become a hazard. A number of methods for cyanide degradation are reviewed in the paper, with special emphasis being placed on biological degradation (due to its low costs and the non toxic nature of the degradation process itself). Recommendations are made as to the best methods of setting up a biological degradation system, for use in mining Situations.
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