Cyanide is a critical input to the gold mining process. However, if not handled carefully and correctly, cyanide can cause damage to the environment and human health. The use of cyanide at our operations is governed both by the relevant national legal requirements, but also informed by the best industry practices and the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC). In 2021 SSR committed to have all sites certified under the ICMC. To achieve this, gap analysis and plans have already been developed at both Çöpler Mine and Seabee. Marigold is already certified.
Mercury is naturally present in the ore at our Marigold Mine in Nevada and can be mobilized during processing. Similarly to cyanide, if spilled or not handled carefully mercury can cause significant environmental harm, and exposure can seriously or even fatally damage human health. We use a wide range of controls during processing and disposal to help us safely manage risks.
- Retorts: We have one mercury retort with a condenser to remove large particulate mercury in the exhaust stream before it goes to the scrubber
- Activated Carbon: We use activated carbon in the gold recovery process
- Scrubbers: We have two sulphur impregnated carbon scrubbers
In line with Nevada State law we dispose of elemental mercury and mercury-contaminated waste at licensed waste facilities. We have strict handling and packaging procedure in place for transportation to safeguard people and the environment. We dispose of about one tonne of elemental mercury every two years, and in 2020, we safely disposed of approximately 12.2 tonnes of mercury contaminated waste.