The International Cyanide Management Institute Announces Revisions to Code Documents

The Board of Directors of the International Cyanide Management Institute (ICMI) has approved a revision to the International Cyanide Management Code (Code), and has approved revisions to the Auditor Guidance for the Use of the Gold Mining Operations Verification Protocol.

International Cyanide Management Code: The Code has been revised to clarify when mines that were not in operation, when designated for certification by a signatory, must be audited for Code compliance.

Signatories to the Code are required to designate on the Signatory Application Form those operations intended for certification. These operations must undergo certification audits within three years of being designated. Signatories may designate a mine for certification before it is in production, or even before it has been constructed, and can seek pre-operational conditional certification based on the commitments made for the mine’s design, construction and operation. While no time limit is placed on the duration of the pre-operational certification period, the Code’s procedures require that such an operation have an on-the-ground audit within one year of its first receipt of cyanide to confirm that it has been constructed and is operating consistent with its pre-operational commitments. This confirmatory audit initiates the three-year audit cycle for subsequent certifications. However, if a signatory company designates a mine for certification prior to its operation, but does not elect to have it certified pre-operationally, the Code has not had an established date by which the facility must undergo its initial on-the-ground certification audit.

Consequently, the ICMI Board of Directors has taken action to amend the Code’s Code Management/Verification and Certification section to establish a deadline of one year from such an operation’s first receipt of cyanide for its certification audit, consistent with the requirement for mines that are certified pre-operationally. Additionally, these mines, as well as those that have been certified pre-operationally, must notify ICMI within 90 days of their first receipt of cyanide to enable tracking of their audit deadline.

The revised Code, now dated August 2008, has replaced the previous version at http://cyanidecode.org/about_code.php. The revisions are currently being translated into Spanish and French, and the updated translations should be available on the ICMI web site later this month.

Auditor Guidance for the Use of the Gold Mining Operations Verification Protocol: Revisions have been made to two sections of this document to provide additional guidance on how the Code’s provisions regarding spill prevention and containment are to be applied to tanks of cyanide solution that are installed on ring beams. These changes are found under Standards of Practice 3.1 and 4.7. The new guidance does the following:

requires competent secondary containment beneath and around all tanks containing 10,000 mg/l or greater of free cyanide;
requires competent secondary containment beneath and around all new tanks containing process solution, as defined in the Code’s Definitions and Acronyms document; and
requires that existing tanks of process solution that are installed on ring beams either:
a) have monitoring to identify a releases before the release enters the environment (e.g., within a false tank bottom or within the ring beam itself), or
b) have monitoring in the environment (e.g., in the unsaturated zone or in ground water) and employ a Risk Based Inspection (RBI) program as described in the Auditor Guidance for the Use of the Gold Mining Operations Verification Protocol.
The revised Auditor Guidance document, now dated August 2008, has replaced the previous version at http://www.cyanidecode.org/pdf/RevisedAuditorGuidance.pdf. The revisions are currently being translated into Spanish and French, and the updated translations should be available on the ICMI web site later this month.
Date:
Tuesday, August 12, 2008