Gold mining and metallurgy is totally acceptable in the European Union and covered by the following legislative acts:
- Best Available Techniques in extractive industry.
- Directive on the extractive industry waste management.
Sodium cyanide (NaCN) is not included in the list of chemicals for priority action in the REACH Directive of the EU (EU Directive concerning the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals) which is under discussion. The EU has adopted the REACH regulation so that the hazards of chemicals are defined, as well as the way of addressing them. In practice, the REACH regulation refers to the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of use of chemicals.
- The method of gold extraction with the use of NaCN is covered by the text of the Directive of the EU on the best available techniques in mining activities (ΒΑΤ – Best Available Technique). The following measures are recommended in the relative document:
- Minimizing of the use of NaCN (through management practices that aim at reducing its consumption during the operation, automatic regulation of the used dosage).
- Destruction of the free cyanides before the channeling of the tailings to their deposition site.
Implementation of safety measures (a circuit size double than the required one, for the destruction of cyanides, installation of an auxiliary circuit for adding limestone, installation of power production auxiliary systems)
The INCOTM (SO2/oxygen) method is successfully used by all of the European mines for the treatment of tailings before their deposition at the repository.
The threshold of cyanides in their deposition in a closed space must not exceed 10 ppm in ten 10 years (today the threshold is 50 ppm). At the Perama Project the achieved threshold is in accordance with much stricter standards, as it is at least ten times less than the one mentioned in the aforementioned European Directive (Article 13).
The Perama gold mining project has been designed according to all the applicable EU standards and is fully in compliance with the European ΒΑΤ Directive.