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Advances in Biological Cyanide Detoxification.

Altringer PB; Lien RH; Dinsdale BE
Paper in Randol Gold Forum Vancouver '92 Proceedings Randol Int'l Ltd 1992 :395-400
The U.S. Bureau of Mines is investigating biodegradation of cyanide as a means of decommissioning heap leach operations. Biological oxidation decreased weak acid dissociable (wad) cyanide in process solutions from 50 to 170 ppm down to 0.1 Ppm. The tests were conducted both in trickling column reactors, using quartz as the growth surface, and in upflow columns, using activated carbon as the growth surface. In addition, exploratory tests indicated that bacteria will destroy residual cyanide in leached ore. A flowsheet has been proposed for closure of heap leach operations in which the metals-processing portion of the plant, possibly the carbon adsorption columns, or a collection pond is used as a bioreactor. The cyanide in the process solution is destroyed in the bioreactor, and the treated water is used to rinse residual cyanide from the spent heaps. The water is recycled until the effluent wad cyanide concentration meets discharge standards.
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OP 55-92
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Paper in Randol Gold Forum, Vancouver '92 Proceedings. Randol Int'l, Ltd., 1992, PP. 395-400
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division