CyPlus Idesa Transforms the Mexican Cyanide MarketBy Paloma Duran | Wed, 04/28/2021 - 08:45
In the past, cyanide was generally imported from countries like the US, Europe and China. In 2016, CyPlus Idesa changed that, revolutionizing the Mexican cyanide market by producing the first batches of sodium cyanide in the country.
Cyanide is an important chemical — more than 1 million tons are used yearly in electroplating, metal processing, plastic and chemical/pharmaceutical intermediates production, among others. In the mining sector, cyanide has been used in precious metals mining for over 120 years.
In the form of a diluted sodium cyanide solution, cyanide is used to dissolve and separate precious metals such as gold and silver through a process called leaching. There are two main types of leaching processes: heap leaching, where the cyanide solution is sprayed in huge heaps of crushed ore spread on giant collection pads, and tank leaching, where ore is mixed with the solution in large tanks.
CyPlus Idesa is a joint venture founded in 2013 between Germany’s Evonik and Mexico’s Grupo IDESA. Since the beginning of production in 2016 in Mexico, CyPlus Idesa has supplied sodium cyanide to the mining industry with the support of CyPlus GmbH, which has more than 60 years of experience producing cyanide in Europe.
The company’s sodium cyanide plant is located in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, and has a capacity of 40,000 metric tons. It is the only sodium cyanide plant in Mexico and its strategic location ensures the uninterrupted supply of cyanide to all mining units across the country.
The company uses hydrocyanic acid and cyanide technologies and complies with all safety and environmental regulations to ensure that the production and transportation of sodium cyanide is carried out in accordance with the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC), which was developed by a committee director under the direction of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME).
CyPlus Idesa produces solid sodium cyanide in briquettes which is delivered in two types of packaging. Solid sodium cyanide is packed in UN-approved wooden boxes with a capacity of 1 ton each. The UN mark is an international system created by the UN to provide standards for the classification, packaging, marking and labeling of dangerous goods so when transporting any hazardous material, the packaging grants safety in all modes of transport. The other is Solid to Liquid System (SLS) containers that are stainless steel containers that hold solid sodium cyanide. This packaging is used when the client has the equipment or an automated station to control the dissolution process. It is also the safest way to transport cyanide and ensures there is no contact with the cyanide during the dissolution process. CyPlus Idesa uses high-quality packaging to ensure the safest storage and transportation of cyanide.
The sodium cyanide offered is exclusive for mining customers; therefore, it is produced and delivered according to mining needs. Among its benefits is that production is local and customers are supplied directly, without any distributor; the supply chain is certified by the ICMC; and it is customized, fast and the most flexible in the Mexican market.
CyPlus Idesa developed a complete safety program that is offered to mining customers according to their needs. This ensures a high degree of safety and care for the environment. However, the company also owns solid infrastructure to support an emergency response plan in case of an eventuality.