What Happened?

On June 21st, Anagold experienced a spill of diluted cyanide solution that contained an estimated eight kilograms of cyanide from a broken pipeline on top of the heap leach. A lot more solution flowed onto the heap leach which is where it is supposed to go. However, on the 21st the top of the heap leach over filled and a very small portion of the solution ran down one of the mine internal roads (which was not designated to have cyanide on it).
Actions Taken
This spill was cleaned up immediately by digging the road up and transporting it back up to the heap leach. Hypochlorite (which is used in swimming pools and drinking water) was also used to neutralize in some areas.
In response to the incident, we immediately notified the relevant authorities of the event, and we are working closely with the Ministry of Environment to demonstrate our full compliance with regulations and secure resumption of our Çöpler mining operations.
The representatives of the Ministry who visited the site to evaluate any potential environmental issues found that the cyanide did not reach the river. As a result of the spill, the Ministry has paused production at the mine while we make some modifications.
We are working closely with the Ministry of Environment so we can resume normal operations as soon as possible.
Misconceptions About Anagold Operations
MYTH: The Çöpler Gold Mine experienced a 20-ton cyanide spill on June 21, 2022, into the river.
FACT: Nothing flowed into the river. This was stated by the Department of Environment in a tweet after they came to site. Approximately 20tonnes of diluted cyanide solution containing about 8kg of cyanide spilled onto an internal mine road.
MYTH: Anagold is endangering the environment and local community.
FACT: No process or mining waste is disposed of into the environment or river. After processing, the ground rock is called tailings, which are neutralized into harmless mud. There is no sulfuric acid in the tailings storage facility (TSF) and the cyanide is also neutralized before going to the TSF.
MYTH: The ongoing cyanide expulsion by Anagold during the lifetime of the mine is harmful to the environment and community.
FACT: Cyanide breaks down as it’s used in processing ore and in the sun. Cyanide is not being stored in the tailings and is not released to the atmosphere.
Also claims that sulfuric acid is being stored in the dam are false. The acid is used in the process mostly turning into gypsum because of it reacting with limestone. As a result, the tailings are actually slightly alkaline, which is the opposite of being acid.
The dam does not contain acid or cyanide.
MYTH: Anagold should have shut down operations earlier than July 27th based on requirements by the Ministry of Environment.
FACT: Anagold complied with requirements and directions by the Ministry of Environment. Anagold immediately notified the Department of Environment of the spill and subsequently hosted ministry officials to site for an investigation. Immediately on receiving notification to pause operations, Anagold commenced putting all operations into a safe shutdown state. There was some delay on the 27th between a morning unofficial tweet which said the Ministry of Environment were going to enforce pause and the official notification was received later in the evening.
MYTH: The Euphrates River turned red due to a cyanide spill from Çöpler.
FACT: No, the river did not turn red. There was no discharge of mud or solution into the river. The representatives of the Ministry who visited the site to evaluate the incident confirmed that cyanide did not reach the creek or river. The pictures which circulated are not of the Euphrates River flowing near the mine.