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Cyanide Pit


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Recently worked an area off a huge open pit gold mine which was closed for decades.  I was a ride along for this trip.  The guy pointed at a hill and said the cyanide operation was done there.  To me, it looked like a huge grey pile of overburden hundreds of meters wide and perhaps a hundred feet tall.  I pulled up a google image, and this is what the area looks like.  I'm guessing these are cyanide pits, just like he said, but am wondering if anyone can confirm this.  Off the google scale, the average pit is about 25 feet long and five to 10 feet wide.

Cyanide Bleach Pits.JPG

Edited by chrisski
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Bumping to the top.  Cyanide Pits for a large open Pit Gold mining operation.?

I realize not quite as interesting as a Toilet Paper, but it is mining related.

Edited by chrisski
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Not sure if Im looking at a tailings pile? But its common for some operators to use heap leach process with cyanide with gold mining. Whats puzzling is the trenches cut and no visible collection for the pregnant solution? Attached is a pic of a gold mine in the Panamint Mountains that treats the tailing with a cyanide process. You can see the tailings are stacked and the runoff is collected for processing in the black basins to the lower left corner. The cyanide solution is spread using sprinklers as seen on the right side if the tailings pile in the area with white discoloration, note you will see circular wet areas. Maybe they cut the trenches to concentrate solution and keep it from running off the top? Im sure sure I dorked most of this info up, Im not a engineer just a small scale placer/lode miner.....lol

By my house there is a underground mine that someone thought they would try leaching by flooding the underground workings with cyanide solution in the 80's. I didnt know that was done at that mine until I got to the lower levels and seen a mess of PVC piping and other crap. Cyanide leaching on the surface doesnt bother me much since the concentration of cyanide is pretty low and UV breaks it down. But when encountered underground with no UV to break it down its not so awesome. Luckily I realized pretty quick what was going on and got out quick.    

BTW if your ever in the Death Valley are check out the Panamints. There is allot of awesome old mines worth seeing. I used to spend a ton of time up there.    

heap leach.jpg


Edited by Desertpilot
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