Sodium and potassium cyanides are mainly used as reagents in the mining industry for the extraction of precious metals. In the North American market, 90% of sodium and potassium cyanides are used for the refining of gold and silver while only 78% in the rest of the world.
In addition, they are used as a chemical intermediate, especially in places where there is no local supply of hydrogen cyanide. The sodium and potassium cyanides can in fact be transported and stored easily and safely.
In Japan and Europe its use in the chemical industry is important, while in North and South America, Australia, South Africa and China, its use for gold mining is the main application.
Main exporters and market trends
The main exporting nations are the United States, South Korea and Australia.
In recent years, there have been significant fluctuations in the production volumes of gold and its prices, resulting in a strong growth and decrease in the consumption of cyanides.
The European market of sodium and potassium cyanide is controlled by the main German producer CyPlus (formerly Degussa) and by the Czech Draslovska, and consequently, the purchase price reflects the characteristics of these producers.
Other European manufacturers supply the same cyanide at more competitive prices, although transport costs, for a small amount, can affect the final price.
At present, the EXW quotation has not undergone any significant variations and is expected to remain stable also in Q2-2021.
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