Gold cyanide is the end product of a metallurgical technique called gold cyanidation. In order to make gold cyanide through the process of gold cyanidation, gold needs to be extracted from low-grade ore by converting the gold into a coordination complex, or a metallic complex consisting of a central atom or ion, that is soluble in water. Gold cyanidation is the most commonly used gold extraction process, and gold cyanide makes up about thirteen percent of the global cyanide consumption rates, with eighty-seven percent of this then being used in other chemical and industrial processes such as the manufacturing of plastics, pesticides, and adhesives.
However, gold cyanide, like other types and forms of cyanide, has a highly toxic and corrosive nature, making any process involving it, whether extraction techniques like gold cyanidation or applications in industrial manufacturing, dangerous and controversial. Gold cyanide’s extraction, production, and usage is actually banned in a number of countries around the world because of the high risks it imposes if mishandled or exposed.