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Chemical Reactions In Mining

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Michaela Baker

on 21 October 2014

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Transcript of Chemical Reactions In Mining

What Chemicals Are Used in Mining
cyanide, sulfuric acid, and solvents for separating minerals from ore
nitric acid
ammonium nitrate and fuel oil (“ANFO”) used in blasting tunnels
heavy metals such as mercury, uranium, and lead
gasoline, diesel fuel, and exhaust fumes from vehicles and equipment
acetylene for welding and soldering
How is Cyanide Useful in Mining
It is used to dissolve and separate gold from ore. It is much safer than the original chemical used which was liquid mercury.
Why are These Reactions and Cyanide Used?
Cyanide is used in the process of separating the gold and silver particles from the ore.
These reactions are used to safely (or as safely as possible) remove the particles from the ore.
The cyanide mixes with the ground up ore and gold/silver and the cyanide easily reacts and separates the two. Then, through multiple filtration processes it gives you just the gold or silver.

Chemical Reactions In Mining

How Might They Affect the Environment
Cyanide is deadly to both humans and the environment.
Cyanide often spills into waterways during gold mining. Mining companies claim that it is harmless when diluted with water but this is only true if there is a lot of sunlight and oxygen. If there isn't enough sunlight and oxygen, the cyanide remains extremely deadly and usually kills all life in the waterway.
By: Michaela Baker
Destroying Forests
Before mining can begin, all of the land must be cleared, and that means deforestation. This is extremely bad because if you destroy all of the trees and plants, the animals have nowhere to live so they either die or are forced to relocate. This damages the ecosystem, possibly driving species to extinction.
The Ground and Water Shed
Mining changes the land's shape and form. When mining begins, chemicals are leaked into the ground and water, contaminating everything. Not to mention the fact that if chemicals get into the water shed, it can affect thousands of people, plants, and animals.











Gold Ore
Gold Separation
Full transcript