Cyanide, and the process of cyanidation, is the most efficient method for extracting gold and silver from low grade ore. However, it is highly toxic and its manufacture, transport and handling pose major safety and environmental challenges.Australia-based Synergen Met Pty Ltd, in collaboration with the University of Queensland (UQ), beat over 60 other entries to the Overall Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemical and Process Engineering in 2014 for their process plant that manufactures cyanide on location at the minesite.The development reduces costs by up to 50% and avoids the need to transport, store and handle large volumes of hazardous solid and liquid sodium cyanide. In addition to collecting the top prize, the Synergen Met and UQ entry, called “Modular On-site Cyanide Production Unit”, was also presented with the Core Chemical Engineering Award. Christopher Dunks, Managing Director at Synergen Met Pty Ltd, said: “This award validates the importance of our site based cyanide production unit and the paradigm shift it generates for the supply of cyanide to the global mining community. It also validates the important impact it will have on communities affected by mines and the impact of removing cyanide from transport networks.”“IChemE President, Professor Geoff Maitland, said: “Few professions have the power globally to shape and improve the future. Chemical engineers have this privilege and this year’s IChemE Global Awards illustrate how our profession is setting new standards in healthcare, energy, water, safety and a more sustainable planet, including supporting some of the poorest people in the world. The IChemE Global Awards − with the generous support of our sponsors − represent the hard work, inventiveness and achievements of thousands of chemical engineers across the world, and we are proud to host them on behalf of the profession. Congratulations to all of the shortlisted entries for this year’s IChemE Awards, and especially the winners, who have shown that chemical engineering really does matter.”The Awards – which celebrate excellence, innovation and achievement in the chemical and process industries – were hosted by BBC News’ Kate Silverton and held in association with Saudi Aramco at Cheltenham Racecourse on 6 November 2014.