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Information on gold salvage, PLEASE!

I am doing research on the current processes (and chemicals) used in salvaging gold from discarded industrial, commercial, and personal electronic devices. As a layperson, I need to understand the process and the materials used. All information and insight will be greatly appreciated.


Lorie Rogers
freelance writer - Keene, NH, USA

Hi, Lorie -- letters 771b and 18889 are a start on the subject. but entire books have been written on subsets of your questions. You don't say what kind of report you're writing and why, so it is hard for readers to distill that information down for you.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey


I'm doing research on behalf of a public relations firm that has a client in the process of developing a new, environmentally friendly gold recovery process. My goal is to learn more about the chemicals and environmental concerns surrounding the current process to determine whether or not
pursuit of a new method is advisable and potentially profitable. If the current process (and its waste) is dangerous and damaging to the environment, a new process might be welcomed by the industry, consumers, environmentalists, and investors.

Is it true that gold is being used less and less in the manufacturing of new electronics, since other materials work as well? If so, perhaps gold recovery will become more competitive and less profitable. Do you feel this is the case?

Can you recommend specific contacts to address the industry regulations -and- technical and business sides of my questions?

Lorie Rogers
research - Keene, NH, USA


Hi Lorie,

As to the competitive and profit feasibility of a "new" process, for comparison you may want to look into the small scale electrolytic salt based (non-acid) system known as the "Simplicity refining system" by Shor. It is said to produce 99.5% purity @ approx. $2 materials cost per troy ounce, and has been marketed for several years.

As to the industrial uses of gold, manufacturing use in electronic products has remained fairly consistent at around 15 - 20% of annual gold production. The largest share of annually produced gold (well over half) is used in the jewelry trades, a segment that has been increasing in recent years particularly in Asia.

The two other major uses are in coinage and bullion, both of which are expected to increase due to the growing popularity of the new gold exchange traded funds which require equivalent physical gold bullion holdings, and the expansion of the US Mint fine gold coin mintage beginning in 2006.

A good source of info of precious metals:

Jim Peterson
- Mpls, MN, USA

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