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

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CyanoSmart (Reliable, real-time process monitoring solutions for gold mines to reduce costs, reagent use and increase gold production)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2022-04-30

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.
Work in the last reporting period of 18 months focused on the market launch of the CyanoSmart solution. The automated production line for the cartridges received ISO 9001 quality management system certification without any deviations during the reporting period and is producing at a capacity of 30,000 cartridges per month. The design of the CyanoSmart device has been completed and serial production has started, with around 75 meters being manufactured. The CyanoSmart device has received CE marking and passed electromagnetic compatibility tests. The online platform is used regularly by customers and updated regularly based on user feedback. The product has been delivered to 17 mine sites and pilot testing has been initiated. Several customers have validated the solution and have become regular users. Due to the lifting of the Corona travel ban, we visited all customers. It has been demonstrated that the CyanoSmart solution is a significant improvement to the overall cyanide monitoring process and has the potential to reduce cyanide consumption and gold recovery. Especially for complex ores with high copper content, switching to the CyanoSmart solution brings great benefits. In order to exploit the full potential of the solution, further development steps are required. These are, in particular, the integration of the measurement results into a suitable control system, the automation of sampling and the integration of further sensor data. Further advantages in terms of reducing cyanide consumption and increasing gold recovery are possible if the CyanoSmart solution is combined with novel hydrometallurgical process solutions using alternative reagents.
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.
Presentation of CyanoSmart System
The entire CyanoSmart Solution