High cyanide concentrations are used for leaching ground silver ore at the Eti Gumus plant located at Kutahya, Turkey. In this study, stripping parameters for cyanide recovery by a process of Acidification, Volatilization and Re-neutralization (AVR) were investigated for the tailings from the plant, and optimal values of parameters were determined to assess the technical feasibility of the AVR process. A pilot plant was designed, constructed and run continuously for 14 days. Batch experiments were conducted to determine the effects of variables such as pH, aeration velocity, gas/liquid (G/L) ratio, ambient temperature and aeration (strip) time on NaCN recovery. Experimental pilot plant data indicated that a cyanide recovery of over 97% could be achieved using optimized conditions and the corresponding effluent concentration could be reduced to significantly less than the required maximum level of 50 mg/L NaCN. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.