A new report released by technology company, ReportLinker, states that the market for sodium cyanide in Africa is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.38% during the forecast period of 2019 – 2024. Major factors driving the market is the increasing demand from the mining industry.

The report is entitled Africa Sodium Cyanide Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 – 2024). By end-user industry, the mining industry accounted for the largest share in the study, with about 85% of the total volume of the market studied in 2018.  South Africa dominated the market studied with about 20% of the total volume of the market studied in 2018.

The report indicates that a major portion of the sodium cyanide produced worldwide is used in mining and metallurgy, especially in extracting gold and silver.

“It is one of the most economically viable, easily processable, and environmentally sustainable technologies for gold processing.”

Typically, gold is extracted from its ore using sodium cyanide through leeching. In this process, the ore is crushed into a fine powder using industrial machinery. Then, the dust is added to a solution of sodium cyanide (NaCN) and allowed to process. During the process, the gold molecules form very strong bonds with the NaCN, becoming water-soluble. The application of zinc separates the cyanide molecules from the gold and turns the gold back into solid, preparing it for the smelting process.

The report cites the several reasons for the growth in the application of sodium cyanide in mining and metallurgy during the forecast period. This includes “Africa’s abundance of mineral sources, which makes it a hub for the global mining industry”. Apart from South Africa, which has a major mining industry, the report pointed to countries like Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which have rapidly growing mining industries.  

West Africa, it stated, is a hot spot for gold exploration and has attracted major investments from companies across the world, over the past few years, owing to the largely untouched mineral reserves present in the region. There has been a major growth in the gold assets in West Africa, with around 367 assets in the exploration stage, 24 assets under economic assessment, and 61 assets in production or construction stage.

The report states that the African sodium cyanide market is majorly consolidated in nature with the top four players accounting for a significant share, in terms of production capacities. Major players in the market include Taekwang Industry Co. Ltd, Tongsuh Petrochemical, Sasol, and Orica Limited, among others.

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