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SAGE Automation designed and built the control system for safe cyanide handling – a necessary chemical for extracting…


SAGE developed a repeatable engineering process for manufacturing and
programing of the Cyanide Sparge Units. Auto-generated code development resulted in reduced programming time for each unit from 6 weeks to 2 hours. Similarly, commissioning was reduced from approximately 3 weeks to 3 days. An ongoing service agreement includes annual inspection audits, critical safety checks, tuning and identifying areas for improvement.


Instrument calibration, hazardous areas and saftey, PLC, HMI, control systems engineering, service 

Multiple sites globally

Orica Project Engineer Vinh Ly

“Our trusted partnership with SAGE Automation assists Orica to support our customers to employ safe and efficient practices in cyanide management.”


Orica Mining Chemicals offer a wide range of products and services for the mining and mineral processing industry.

Orica is one of the largest global producers of sodium cyanide, supplying 45 gold mines around the world including Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, West Africa and South America.

Cyanide is used in the leaching process to extract gold from ore and is shipped to site as a solid to reduce the risk associated with transportation and the environment. Once on site, the concentrated cyanide needs to be restored to its original form using Sparging Systems for use in the mine process.

Orica Project Engineer Vinh Ly, describes why he turns to SAGE to support this product.“Orica is a signatory to the International Cyanide Management
Code (ICMC) and is committed to ensuring the safe handling and management of cyanide on customer mine sites. Our trusted partnership with SAGE Automation assists Orica to support our customers to employ safe and efficient practices in cyanide management.” Ly said.


SAGE Automation designed and developed the control system for the Sparge Units, including the electrical design, panel construction, PLC, HMI programming and commissioning as well as the ongoing support.

This service includes conducting annual inspection audits of the sparging units control systems, critical safety checks, tuning and identifying areas for improvement.


Since their introduction, Orica’s Cyanide Sparge Units have delivered the following outcomes:
  • Significantly reducing the risks handling cyanide on-site
  • Created a less labour intensive process
  • Eliminated the hazard of packaging waste
  • Enabled operators to be isolated from the hazard during the process

Capabilities Demonstrated
  • Software programming and integration
  • Factory and Site Acceptance Testing
  • Remote installation and commissioning
  • Ongoing service support including electrical inspections and maintenance
Cyanide control system

Control system overview

The fully self-contained control system includes HMI, PLC, safety and interface controls. The HMI enables operators to monitor and undertake control interactions with plant operating equipment and control the system simultaneously, without losing observation of the process. It also has the ability for a second HMI to be introduced to provide redundancy if desired.

The PLC has networking capability to provide high speed deterministic communications between the HMI and field devices. The system architecture
has the ability to seamlessly control air piloted solenoid valves integrated directly into the control philosophy.

Safety is assured by means of a hardwired relay monitoring a number of emergency stop stations located throughout the installation.

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