Leadership in Cyanide Management: Alper Gürsoy

Cyanide Management. It may sound like the holding company for a Bond villain, but in today’s gold mining industry, cyanide management plays an essential role in ensuring the safety of people and the environment.

Many gold mining operations around the world – including our Kışladağ mine in Turkey – use dilute concentrations of cyanide to separate gold from the surrounding ore. To ensure we are using cyanide safely, we follow the International Cyanide Management Code.  All aspects of cyanide management are covered by this voluntary program, from how we transport it to the site to the systems we have in place to protect our employees from exposure. It also ensures we handle and store the chemical in a way that safeguards our people, communities and the environment.

Commitment to the Code

Alper Gürsoy talks about cyanide management at Eldorado Gold.
Alper Gürsoy, Occupational Health, Safety and Security Manager, Kışladağ

Eldorado became a signatory to the International Cyanide Management Code in 2012. This commits us to following the Code’s nine principles at our certified sites using cyanide and to have these sites evaluated by an independent third-party auditor to ensure compliance. We also commit to a reverification process every three years.

“Complying with the Cyanide Code requirements is a core value,” says Alper Gürsoy, Occupational Health, Safety and Security Manager at our Kışladağ mine. “It complements our principle of ‘People and environment first, then mining.’”

Alper was recently profiled as a Cyanide Code Champion in the International Cyanide Management Institute’s (ICMI) 2019 Annual Report for his leadership and commitment to best practices in cyanide management.

He was a member of the Cyanide Code Steering Committee when Kışladağ became the first gold mine in Turkey to comply with the Code in 2013. Since then, he has overseen the mine’s ongoing compliance, including successful Code certification audits conducted by independent third parties in 2016 and 2019.

As he explains in the ICMI report, “To achieve certification, we collaborate and implement our values: Courage, Agility, Drive, Collaboration and Integrity. Engagement with line managers and the site steering committee (including departmental representatives) strengthens ongoing compliance.”

“Certification enhances our credibility with government agencies,
and helps address negative perceptions about cyanide use. We take
certification audits as an opportunity to further improve our practices.”

– Alper Gürsoy, Occupational Health, Safety and Security Manager, Kışladağ

Approach to Cyanide Safety

The most recent audit report, submitted in December 2019, provides a detailed assessment of Kışladağ’s approach to cyanide safety.  The report covers everything from production, transportation, handling and storage, and operational use to decommissioning, worker safety, emergency response, training and dialogue. Each area is looked at in depth to ensure we’re taking the steps to actively promote the safety and health of Eldorado employees and contractors and to safeguard the environment and surrounding communities.

This holistic approach to managing cyanide risk is just one example of our commitment to sustainability.  You can read more about in our 2019 Sustainability Report.

We’re proud of Kışladağ’s continued success in ensuring the safe use of cyanide and excited to see Alper’s leadership recognized in the ICMI report. Congratulations Alper!

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