Gold Extraction

There are two primary processes that are normally applied into the smelting gold process by gold refiners. Smelting gold is the actual process of the removal of foreign elements which is contained in gold ore. The foreign element that is usually found in gold ore is Ferum which is more commonly known as ‘iron’. The process of smelting gold does not just involve gold that is mined but it also is applied in the processes of removing gold from scrap. Scrap gold is a more common factor in the smelting workhouses more than raw gold that comes from the mines direct. Renowned cash for gold traders that are also in the gold refining business are also commonly known to utilize this method. Most commonly the process of removing iron is kick started by using Nitric acid that dissolves the iron but leaves the gold intact (gold most prominent characteristic is that it is one of the most ‘least’ reactive elements known to man, it is commonly referred to as the “docile metal”. Another prominent and effective method in the iron removal process to extract gold is by forced air oven oxidation which also dissolves iron via the electro winning cathodes. The smelting process is then induced to separate the gold and iron. The same method is actually also applied for the removal of other foreign elements such as copper and magnesium.

Usually the best method to extract gold is via electrolysis. It is much cleaner and safer although the cost of building the electrolysis contraption is quite steep. The removal of mercury however, is completely quite different. Mercury a known health hazard, especially in gaseous states or form could be fatal if inhaled. As such it is absolutely necessary to remove mercury in the extraction process of gold before smelting. In order to achieve this, the “Merrill-Crowe process” which involves the substance usually being heated in a retort to recover any mercury present, that would otherwise cause health and environmental problems due to its release (volatilization) during smelting.

These processes are normally applied to the extraction of gold from scrap in huge quantities that contain numerous ‘free radicals’ before the residue after the application of these processes are sent for smelting. After smelting the gold is still put through a few other processes in order to purify them. Gold refiners use these techniques to extract the gold all over the world whether that be primary gold such as Dore or secondary scrap gold.