In 1988, Cyanco (under the ownership of Mining Services International – MSI) undertook to build a liquid sodium cyanide plant in Winnemucca, Nevada, in the heart of gold mining country. Until this time, producers of sodium cyanide made a liquid product nearer to the raw materials, which was usually thousands of miles from where the mines were. To avoid substantial transportation costs, they dried the product to a solid form, packaged it in drums or wooden boxes, and then shipped the cyanide long distances to gold mines, who then dissolved the product back into a useable liquid form. Then, the packaging had to be disposed of properly.
Cyanco’s novel concept was to make the cyanide where the mines were and bypass the drying stage altogether. The liquid product would then be transported in specially designed trailers directly to the customer in a ready-to-use form. The product is off-loaded directly into the customer’s tank by highly trained drivers, so that the customer never has to handle the product or dispose of any packaging. Degussa Corporation, a major player in the cyanide market at the time, saw the advantages of the liquid product, and in 1992 formed a joint venture with MSI (later to become Nevada Chemicals, Inc.). The plant was completed and began production in 1990 with a capacity of 28 million pounds.
Today there are two plants at the Winnemucca operations with production capacity in excess of 240 million pounds annually. In October 2008, Oaktree Capital Management purchased Cyanco. Today, Cyanco has operations in Winnemucca, Nevada ,Cadillac, Quebec,Hermosillo, Sonora, Cheyenne , Wyoming as well as offices in Montreal, Quebec and Reno, Nevada and Houston, Texas (corporate office). Cyanco also maintains a laboratory facility in Reno, Nevada for cyanide application and detoxification work by the Applied Technology Group.