Cyanide has been used in large scale gold mines for over a hundred years. But that can change.


Around the world, nearly all large-scale industrial gold mines use cyanide and other toxic chemicals to liberate gold from ore. The residual mine waste – known as “tailings” – is then sequestered behind earthen dams in enormous tailings ponds. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for tailings dams to fail and release millions of tons of toxic waste into the environment. The Shadow of Gold shows the horrific result of one such disaster at the Mount Polley copper/gold mine in British Columbia Canada.


Support efforts to switch to an environmentally friendly alternative.

As shown in our film, Nobel Prize winning chemist Sir Fraser Stoddart has discovered an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to isolate gold using Cyladex – a naturally occurring compound derived from cornstarch. As demonstrated in our film, this method requires no cyanide or toxic tailings ponds. One gold industry CEO – Comstock Mining’s Corrado De Gasperis  – has invested in this technology and hopes to scale it up for production. It has the potential to make the cyanide process obsolete in large-scale gold mines everywhere.

Find out more about the work of Sir Fraser Stoddart and Corrado De Gasperis. If you’re scientifically minded, this technical report outlines other alternatives to cyanide processing.