Because much of the ore that Kinross mines contains highly disseminated, low concentrations of gold, the use of aqueous chemical extraction processes is the only economically viable method of extracting the gold from the ore. The most efficient and environmentally safe reagent available for the dissolution and extraction of gold is cyanide. However, because of its hazardous characteristics, the use and management of cyanide requires stringent control at all times, from transportation to disposal.
Recognizing the importance of maintaining the highest standards of cyanide management, Kinross was one of 14 initial signatory companies to the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC) in 2005. It requires on-site verification by an independent third-party auditor for initial certification and every three years thereafter, as well as ongoing monitoring and annual reporting. Compliance with the Cyanide Code is a key part of Kinross’ commitment to protect our workers, communities, and the environment in which we operate.
In 2011, we received certification at La Coipa under the Cyanide Code. La Coipa was found to be in substantial compliance with the Cyanide Code, identifying eight areas where improvements were needed for the operation to be in full compliance. As of the publication date of this report, La Coipa had three remaining corrective actions it needed to complete by November 6, 2012.
Fort Knox and Round Mountain achieved Cyanide Code recertification in 2011, and Paracatu was recertified in early 2012. All Kinross sites outside of West Africa are now certified. Our two additional operations in West Africa have been added to our future certification goal. Chirano was audited in July 2012 and is expected to be certified later this year. All new facilities are being built to meet the requirements of the Cyanide Code.