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Separation of copper from gold mixture

A discussion started in 2004 and continuing through 2017 . . .


Q. Dear...

I am a student in University of Sulaimany in Iraq. I have a question: please show me a way for "separation copper from gold" and I mixed gold with copper. I want to separate the two metals by any chemical methods. Please help me, thank you.

Aras Hass
student - Sulaimany, Alikamal, Iraq


A. One of the metals will dissolve in 50% nitric acid, whilst the other will not. When you have collected and thoroughly washed the metal that will not dissolve, you may send it to me.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


A. Hi Aras,

As Trevor points out, use nitric ... but don't, DON'T send the residue to him ... send it me. He is still working and I'm retired and need some glitter in life.

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

(It is our sad duty to
advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


thumbs up signOK Freeman, lets split the spoils.

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

March 9, 2008

Q. I separated gold from gold+copper mixture and finally I am having a solution of copper nitrate and now I wish to separate the copper from the solution.

I don't know the separation process for separating copper from copper nitrate. Please guide me in this aspect.

Prabahar Natarajan
Student - India

November 29, 2011

? Well I am not sure my self actually sorry :-(
But if I did know I would tell you.

Matt Close
- Lee on Solent, Gosport, UK

August 15, 2016

A. You may precipitate the copper outof the copper sulphate solution by inserting a metal that is more reactive than copper, such as magnesium or iron. Copper metal will precipitate, but the magnesium/iron will dissolve and you will ultimately be left with a solution of magnesium or iron sulphate. This is known as cementation. An alternative commercial method consists of solvent extraction and electrowinning, i.e., electrolysis.

Renier van Rensburg
MaxComm - Somerset West

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