The global sodium cyanide market size is expected to grow from USD 2,807.2 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 3,579.3 million by 2029, with a CAGR of 4.51%.
Sodium Cyanide is a highly toxic cyanide salt, used in applications such as mining, electroplating, dyes, textile, and pharmaceutical. It has two forms solid and liquid. In solid, it is stored and transported in the form of briquettes while the liquid is directly used in tanks.
As precious metals such as gold and silver occur in low concentrations in ores, the only economically viable way of extracting these metals is the use of aqueous chemicals for the extraction process. Among these aqueous chemicals, sodium cyanide solution is one of the most widely used chemicals in leaching gold from ore.
In recent years, the steady demand for gold from some of the largest markets in the world, such as China, Russia, India, and the U.S., has compelled gold miners to ramp-up their production to increase gold mining volumes. This demand for gold in the market is driven by the central bank’s desire to increase their gold holdings owing to the rising trade disputes.
Growing consumer attachment toward gold, which holds emotional, cultural, and financial value around the globe, is also anticipated to positively influence the demand for gold in the market. As per the World Gold Council, since the early 1970s, the volume of gold produced each year has tripled and the amount of gold bought annually has quadrupled. Furthermore, as the demand for gold rises, it will create a need for sodium cyanide for its efficient extraction from ores.
|Market Size||USD 3,579.3 million by 2029|
|Fastest Growing Market||Asia Pacific|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Rapid industrialization and rising consumer demand owing to the ever-growing population has resulted in the expansion of various end-use industries, such as pharmaceutical, chemical, and textile, which are some of the industries where sodium cyanide finds substantial applications. Besides, sodium cyanide is also widely used in electroplating, which is an important process in industries such as automotive and electronics. Improving consumer spending, coupled with improving living standards, has added to the demand for automobiles and consumer durables, resulting in an increase in electroplating applications and consequently, augmenting the demand for sodium cyanide in the market. The sodium cyanide market for the mining industry is expected to hold the largest share in 2019 at USD 2,209.5 million.
Sodium cyanide also finds application in the agriculture sector, where it was initially used as a pesticide to control ants in uncultivated agricultural and non-agricultural areas. Increasing concerns regarding damage to agricultural livestock from coyotes and other predators have expanded the application areas of sodium cyanide in the sector. For instance, in December 2019, the EPA announced an interim decision for the use of M-44 (sodium cyanide) predator control devices to control certain wild predators, primarily coyotes, under the guidance of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
Although the use of sodium cyanide offers ample advantages across various end-use industries, cyanide toxicity and its environmental impact and effects on wildlife and aquatic organisms are well-known. Many living organisms, such as fish and aquatic invertebrates, are particularly sensitive to cyanide exposure even at low concentrations ranging from 5.0 to 7.2 micrograms with its adverse effects including inhibited reproduction, disrupted respiration, and altered growth patterns.
These concerns have compelled environmental and government organizations to set up stringent regulations not only for cyanide emission from the industrial sector but also for special packaging and transport regulations. For instance, the Inland Transport of Dangerous Goods Directive, Annex III –AND; Inland Transport of Dangerous Goods Directive, Annex I – ADR;and Inland Transport of Dangerous Goods Directive, Annex II – RID set up by the European Chemicals Agency.
The exposure of cyanide is acutely toxic to humans as well, and exposure at high concentrations could result in health problems such as ataxia, hypertonia, goiters, and depressed thyroid function. Thus, the harmful effects of cyanide exposure to humans and the environment inhibit market growth to an extent.
Asia-Pacific’s mining industry is expected to enter a new era of growth in the years to come, primarily driven by the increasing capital expenditure for projects across the market. As the global economy is gradually recovering, it is also pushing the mining sector gradually out of its downturn. Since the mining sector significantly contributes to the GDP of economies in Asia-Pacific, government organizations are focusing on adopting favorable regulatory changes in terms of policies, reforms, and regimes that can bolster the growth of the mining industry. For instance, in March 2020, the Government of India introduced the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, to prompt a new era of growth in the Indian coal and mining sector.
Such government policies are gaining the attention of international companies and foreign investors that are focusing to expand their businesses/investments across the developing markets of Asia-Pacific. Growth is further supported by the seismic shift in the technological landscape of mining operations, and sustainable mining practices, such as green exploration and intelligent mining, are further anticipated to create a lucrative opportunity for the growth of the mining sector across the regional market.
The demand for sodium cyanide across the North American market is driven by the growth of the mining sector in recent years, particularly in the U.S. market, which is primarily focusing on decreasing its dependency on imports of minerals from other countries.
Figure 1: Imports of Minerals in the U.S., 2015–2019
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
The adjacent figure represents the decline in the imports of gold and silver across the U.S. market in recent years. This trend has increased gold and silver mining activities across the country, augmenting the growth of sodium cyanide.
Rising geopolitical uncertainty due to the U.S.-China trade war that began in 2018 has significantly impacted the imports of low-cost raw-materials from China, encouraging the U.S. mining industry to improve productivity and enhance the quality of raw materials. Since the mining industry’s growth can be closely linked to the demand for sodium cyanide, this growth of the mining industry in the regional market will further support the growth of the regional sodium cyanide market in the coming years.
Figure 2: Total Mine Production in the U.S., 2015–2019
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
The adjacent figure represents growth in the production capacity of metals and industrial minerals across the U.S. market during 2015–2019. Metal production recorded 12.5% growth, whereas industrial minerals registered 19.8% growth.
The upward trend in sodium cyanide demand across South America can be attributed to the rising demand for gold in the markets of Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil, which are also some of the largest gold producing economies in the world. Being home to some of the largest gold reserves, with cheap labor and a relatively low cost of regulation in the mining sector has made the region an attractive market for players engaged in the mineral mining industry, particularly gold, to expand their business. This scenario is projected to bolster the regional mining industry in the upcoming years and consecutively, positively impact the demand for sodium cyanide across the market.
Figure: 3 Gold Reversers across the Economies of South America in 2019
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
*Note: Total global gold reserve in 2019 is estimated at 50,000 metric tons
The figure depicts the number of gold reserves in the markets of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru that account for 3.2%, 4.8%, 2.8%, and 4.2% of global gold reserves, respectively.