The chemistry of cyanide solutions is complicated because the cyanide ion forms compounds and complexes with many elements. Some cyanide species are highly toxic whereas others are relatively inert and harmless. Molecular hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is the most toxic form of cyanide. Under most conditions, HCN exists as a gas which readily dissipates or reacts with the environment to form less toxic or nontoxic forms of cyanide. Thus HCN is an ephemeral toxin, and many naturally occurring geochemical processes reduce the HCN concentration of a heap system with time.
As discussed below, free cyanide