The mining industry has historically used sodium cyanide for gold recovery since the latter half of the 19th century, and remains the largest of the end users of the sodium cyanide market. As the global demand for precious metal mining grows in popularity, it has caused a subsequent positive impact on the sodium cyanide market as well. Sodium cyanide is being used in mining operations to leach the gold from the ore, either by heap or vat leaching.
Manufacturers in the market are increasingly looking to meet this growing demand from the mining industry by expanding their production facilities. For instance, in 2018, Cyanco announced the expansion of its manufacturing plant in Nevada, USA, for the continuous supply of sodium cyanide around the world.
Of the other end users of sodium cyanide, the chemical industry, which held a smaller share of ~8% of the total global market value in 2018, is expected to grow the fastest at an average of ~5% over the forecast period. This can be attributed to the application of sodium cyanide for specific tasks such as electroplating and insecticides, and also as a precursor to several other compounds used in pharmaceuticals. The expected average growth indicates the presence of untapped opportunities for manufacturers in the sodium cyanide market to capitalise during the forecast years.
In 2018, by volume, the global sodium cyanide market registered sales of ~1,145 kilo tons, a figure that is estimated to grow during the forecast period of 2019 to 2027, to hit the ~1,700 kilo tons mark.
Negative Impact of Sodium Cyanide on the Environment Restraining Market Growth
While it is rampantly employed across the mining industry, the use of sodium cyanide has been increasingly garnering attention in recent years due to the adverse effects it has on the environment. Sodium cyanide itself breaks down rapidly in water; however, the compounds it breaks down into can pose a great danger to the wildlife and humans in the area. This is particularly significant in the case of sodium cyanide spills into groundwater sources, which can cause widespread contamination that persists for long periods of time. For instance, the 2000 Baia Mare cyanide spill in Romania has been touted as one of the worst environmental disasters in Europe in recent times, which endangered human and wildlife across Hungary, Serbia, and Romania.
The occurrence of sodium cyanide spills due in mining, which can have a negative impact on the environment, can restrain the potential growth of the sodium cyanide market.
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Sodium Cyanide Market: Competition Analysis
The global sodium cyanide market is a consolidated landscape, with a small number of large-scale manufacturers holding a large share of the market, and numerous small- and medium-sized players vying for the rest of the pie of the market share. In 2018, established manufacturers in the market – Cyanco, Chemours, Orica Limited, Evonik Industries AG, and Australian Gold Reagents Pty Ltd. held ~70% share of the market. They are looking at establishing themselves as reliable players in the market, and are increasingly focusing on strengthening their distribution channels in regional markets as well. For instance, in May 2018, Australian Gold Reagents appointed Qube Bulk as its integrated provider of logistic services, covering the West Australian sodium cyanide supply chain from beginning to end.