Team:UGM Indonesia

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Let's dig some gold

in environmentally sustainable way

Project Background

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM)–gold mining with limited capital investment and production–becomes a big concern especially in Indonesia as it supports 1 million people’s livelihoods.

ASGM Practices Cause

Environmental Issues

Cyanide is widely utilized by ASGM as a leaching agent in the hydrometallurgical process. However, there are many occurrences of cyanide leakage and improper waste treatment within the ASGM practices.

In addition, the existing cyanide waste treatment still takes more than 1 month. Moreover, the limited supply of adequate resources involved in ASGM perplexes people to achieve a proper and efficient cyanide waste treatment.


Is there any solution to this problem


Pyrometallurgy as an alternative gold extraction method is unsuitable for ASGM as it needs huge energy sources for the 600oC-heating process. Besides, this process is also unsafe for non-trained workers from local societies.

Therefore, another approach for gold extraction is needed to achieve a proper implementation among ASGM.

So, here's our project idea

A bacterium Chromobacterium violaceum has been found to produce cyanide as well as degrade it faster through enzymatic reaction.

Meet this friendly bacteria

Therefore, another approach for gold extraction is needed to achieve a proper implementation among ASGM.

Coming with those flows, we conducted a project based on a synthetic biology approach entitled Auviola!

a cyanide-regulating system for gold bioleaching and waste treatment towards sustainable non-mercury gold processing

Through this project, we intended to engineer C. violaceum into an on-off system that may produce optimized amounts of cyanide and subsequently degrade it.

Furthermore, a bioreactor has been designed to provide an environmentally friendly gold bioleaching model to be applied by ASGM.

Through this project, we aimed to develop a new strategy for the better gold bioleaching process and cyanide waste treatment. Let's contribute to create a sustainable non-mercury gold processing!

Let's start the journey!