Skip to main content

Reliable, real-time process monitoring solutions for gold mines to reduce costs, reagent use and increase gold production

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CyanoSmart (Reliable, real-time process monitoring solutions for gold mines to reduce costs, reagent use and increase gold production)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2020-10-31

Gold mines lose billions in recoverable gold and unnecessary operating cost each year because they can’t control their process efficiently. Having the right amount of cyanide is the single most critical parameter in the gold extraction process. Furthermore, cyanide costs are the main cost driver for mines and often exceed 70% of the total processing costs. Without reliable and real-time cyanide monitoring tools, mines face high operating costs and losses in gold production. Our Solution, CyanoSmart, is a mobile, IoT read-out device that uses single-use test cartridges to detect cyanide. Operators can use our handheld devices anywhere in the mine and get a result on the spot. Integrated into the Cyano.AI cloud, mines can visualise their cyanide levels in real-time online. Our data-driven, connected monitoring system helps mines optimise their gold extraction process, while reducing operating costs, minimising their environmental footprint and eventually achieve the UN SDG goal 12 for their industry. Thanks to our patented molecule and AI-based measurement algorithm, our technology excels in providing a reliable, reproducible result where other technologies regularly fail.
Our objective is to advance the initial CyanoSmart prototype system to an industrialized, scalable system, that will become the gold standard for cyanide control worldwide. Our innovation will benefit the entire gold mining industry and community and transform mining into a more transparent and more efficient industry.
The work performed in the first reporting period of 12 months has focused on scaling the solution's individual modules. We have started to set-up the automated production line for the cartridges and already achieved a substantial production capacity increase. Additionally, we have introduced an ISO 9001 compliant quality management system to be certified in the next reporting period.
As for the CyanoSmart device, we have defined the second-generation device's requirements and build a stable hardware/design prototype that fulfils these specifications.
The online platform has been completely overhauled both from a front-end and a back-end perspective to fulfil the requirements set forth by mining sites.
We have established a systematic marketing & communication strategy to exploit the results and acquire pilot partners to test and eventually implement our solution. Despite the global pandemic and its resulting travel-ban, we have achieved significant commercial traction and received firm purchase orders for piloting our system.
CyanoGuard has developed a robust, AI-based real-time cyanide testing and monitoring solution consisting of a single-use test cartridge, a handheld analyser and a data analytics cloud platform. Our technology enables mining operations to measure and manage their cyanidation process effectively. Existing tools for measuring cyanide are unreliable, inefficient and costly and cause mining operations to overdose on cyanide and run a suboptimal process. For instance, the current standard method, a manual titration, often involves sending test samples to a laboratory. It requires at least 4-6 hours to result and is highly susceptible to interferences that make results highly inaccurate.
On the other hand, online analysers installed onsite allows mining operators to speed up the measurement process but are highly expensive to install and requires significant investments and downtime for maintenance and calibration. Our award-winning single-use test cartridge is resilient to interferences, increasing the speed and accuracy of cyanide measurements. At the same time, our handheld analyser brings mobility, efficiency and is cost-effective to implement. Operators can simultaneously make multiple measurements at various points along the leaching process and have all the cyanide data transmitted into our cloud platform where mining managers and metallurgist consultants can analyse cyanide data and decide on cyanide dosage. Our solution also allows mining operators to set alerts (via SMS or Whatsapp) when cyanide levels fall outside the desired range. Such alert functionality ensures early intervention and prevents any potential cyanide incidents from happening in the first place.

Cyanide remains one of the commonly used chemicals for leaching gold. Still, it has also raised environmental and safety concerns due to cyanide spillage incidents such as the Baia Mare incident in Romania in 2000. Cyanide-free leaching techniques have been researched on but are not as cost-effective as cyanide. Cyanide is highly toxic but does not bio-accumulate. It is a chemical that is also naturally produced by some food crops such as cassava, almonds and bamboo shoots. Our solution enables the mining industry to approach precious metal mining safely, environmentally sustainable, and responsible. Implementing an effective cyanide monitoring solution prevents cyanide overdosage, thereby allowing mining companies to reduce cyanide use by 15% on average while increasing gold recovery by 2%. Such operational efficiency also means fewer costs in the management of tailings, such as less detox reagent needed, less water and energy consumption, thereby reducing the overall environmental and societal footprint of mining activities.